“Sexy Russian Spies Are Far Out!”
Episode Blog #280
INDONESIA – VIETNAM – CHINA – SOUTH AFRICA – THE NETHERLANDS – CZECH REPUBLIC – POLAND – ISRAEL – SRI LANKA – SINGAPORE – AUSTRALIA
Previously on TAR: Seven teams traveled from Cape Town to Prague where Sam & Renae found themselves isolated. And it was the end of the line for sisters Alana & Mel.
Tonight, 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?
Six teams remain; who will be eliminated next?
By the way, guess why the episode blog was delayed this week?
Because #Winning. Yes, I went to The Amazing Race finale party for the second year in a row. ‘Twas fun.
NOTE: This is the second time that Grant has teased one of the teams won’t make it to the pit stop. Considering the first time this was teased was during Mo & Mos’ elimination where nobody was remotely close to quitting, I hesitate to take his words seriously.
Grant introduces us to Prague–Prague Castle is the biggest castle complex in the world.
“You should Czech this place out sometime.”
Tyler & Nathan, who were the first team to arrive at an unspecified time, will depart at 5:31am.
No hint of light when Tyler & Nathan depart? This must be filmed awfully late in the year.
Tyler & Nathan read they must go to the lopsided building nicknamed the Dancing House. Once there, they must search for a nearby 1982 Czech sedan where they will find their next clue.
If this were TAR Canada, they would be wetting themselves over the idea of a Dancing House.
Tyler & Nathan say they have a huge target on their back because they have been leading for most of the season. They just want to keep staying ahead.
If this were TAR 29, Tyler & Nathan would still have two additional U-Turns to dodge.
Tyler & Nathan hire a cab.
Chris & Anastasia depart second at 5:59am. Anastasia says there is no reason why they can’t come first in this leg because they continue to get stronger and stronger.
Where has this team been for the first half of the season?
They ask a cab driver for directions to the dancing house, but there is a communication barrier.
Anastasia resorts to charades.
Chris is petrified as his girlfriend turns into Kylie Minogue.
Spinnin’ around. . .
Anastasia cracks up when the taxi driver quietly chuckles.
ANASTASIA: He’s laughing at me!
“Am I getting Punk’d?”
CHRIS: I think we’re working better as a team. We’ve exhausted all possibilities of arguing. Once you go that low, it’s all up from there.
Oh, you can always go lower. I have a feeling those smiles will be wiped off sooner rather than later.
CHRIS: Voom voom!
ANASTASIA: It’s vroom vroom.
CHRIS: Our car goes voom.
Wow. They aren’t even fighting when Anastasia attempts to correct Chris. Maybe they really are coming together as a team.
ANASTASIA: Our team could be the team to beat soon enough.
Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
Jeff & Luke and Matt & Tom depart in third and fourth at 6:12am and 6:13am.
LUKE: We really need to win one leg and that’s what we’re running for now. The teams that are here are the best of the best, and every one of those teams deserves to be here.
Are you saying Anne-Marie & Tracey don’t deserve to be here, Luke? For shame!
By the way, it is too early to say “the best teams are all that remain”. We’ve still got the majority of the cast in the race. I hate it when editors go this route too early.
Matt & Tom are less serious about their accomplishment.
MATT: We’ve made it this far. We may as well just make it all the way to the end now.
Matt & Tom find it funny they have to find someone who speaks English at six in the morning.
Which is also when the freaks in Snoop Dogg’s living room will be leaving.
TOM: This game is all luck.
MATT: Luck of the draw with cab drivers or if you get lost.
TOM: We’ve been pretty lucky but we deserve it at the same time.
For the 1,000th time, there is no such thing as “deserving” in The Amazing Race.
Except for when it comes to whether or not you deserve to be cast for the show in the first place.
This is why I never understand why Matt & Tom aren’t more popular than Jet & Cord. Jet & Cord would never ever ever acknowledge that everyone is deserving, or things like bad cabs are all part of the game.
Matt & Tom know anybody can do well in this game and make it to the end. They are never wound up about anything or blame the LGBTQ community if things don’t go their way.
“So you’re telling me this is the way to slap a Jet & Cord fan?”
Finally. Cowboys I can root for.
Matt & Tom are told it is a fifteen minute walk. Time to warm up!
Bumbling music plays as Tyler & Nathan find their clue in the 1940s war car.
Easier than finding a clue in bright daylight one leg earlier, apparently.
They read they need to drive to the Zimni Ice Hockey Rink and face off against a Czech national goalie. Once they slip one puck past the goalie, they will receive their next clue.
Maxima is a true gladiator on the ice!
Too bad this is not TAR Canada where we can see somebody five-hole another hockey task.
The goalie fears the rage of frustrated Aussies in sport.
An ice hockey practice at seven in the morning? I am not sure even Canadians get up that early to play.
I don’t think this referee will have to worry about making that motion anytime soon. It’s Aussies on Ice.
The Czechs wait for their Australian circus animals to come by cheering as they repeatedly fall on their ass.
The visor is there to ensure the referee is protected for the inevitable misfire when the puck goes for the referee rather than the net.
Tyler starts driving the car.
I worry about the inevitable head-on collision. If the age of the car determines what side of the road you drive on, Tyler & Nathan will be in trouble.
Jeff & Luke run into Chris & Anastasia on the street. They form a temporary Intersection as they seek the old cars.
It didn’t take much effort for Jeff to get in between Chris and Anastasia.
Jeff’s fake mustache is my new favourite character.
They find the vehicles.
The cars will barely fit Chris’ biceps. His ego will have to go in the trunk.
LUKE: It is the Czech version of a ferrari. . .it resembles nothing of any other car I have seen before.
Luke gets the episode title quote? The bar must have been low.
Both teams have their clue. It is time for the next challenge.
Where is the trunk?
ANASTASIA: You sure this end is not the boot?
As a Canadian, hearing them refer to a trunk as a ‘boot’ is amusing. What’s this aboot?
It would be hilarious if Luke accidentally hits the switch and the boot comes flying at his face.
Luke concludes the engine is in the back of the vehicle.
This is the trunk?
Much like the Trivants from the Hungary leg in TAR 6, Eastern Europe sure loves their strange cars.
I love how Jeff casually tosses his heavy bag from a distance to get it into the trunk. I am amazed the car didn’t break in half from the weight.
Kind of like the end of a bonus stage in Street Fighter II.
The two teams who are convinced they are overdue for a first place finish start driving to the ice hockey rink.
Dave & Kelly depart in fifth at 6:45am. They take a tram.
I think Dave & Kelly are still low on funds. Two of the other teams took a cab to the dancing house.
We learn Kelly is 37 and Dave is 52. I really hope they haven’t been married for more than nineteen years.
Dave’s goatee and glasses just like my 67 year old dad makes me surprised he isn’t older.
DAVE: We’re not exactly spring chickens or athletes. We go through a lot of tiger balm.
I can only imagine what pain killers they’ll be prescribed if they manage to cross the finish line.
Matt & Tom are still walking. It is beyond the fifteen minutes that the previous local promised.
And I don’t think it warmed them up as much as they were hoping.
MATT: Everyone had a different opinion on distance.
Tom may have to hold Matt back who looks like he is ready to strike. “Another forty minutes? You can’t do this to me!!!”
TOM: Maybe the walking option wasn’t such a great idea.
Eh, you guys could use the fresh air and exercise.
All you need is a couple of horses and you’ll successfully become Czech Cowboys.
Tyler & Nathan are at the ice hockey rink.
7:30am for hours of operation? That has to be the weakest hours of operation in quite some time. Since TAR 14, the equalizers are so blatant that the worst case scenario is only one team not catching up by the time a route marker opens.
NATHAN: It’s just annoying.
It could be worse, boys. It could be worse.
I doubt Sam & Renae will find their car and drive all the way to Zimni in the span of thirty-three minutes.
SAM: Renae and I are the last girl team in the race. We’re definitely feeling the pressure.
Oh no. We’re at the point of the season where it is the “we’re the last all-female team left in the race” angle.
I hate it when editors do this. It is not much of a noteworthy milestone by this point in the TAR timeline when all-female teams did very well in the first four seasons of TAR Asia, two all-female teams made it to the top two of TAR 17, and another all-female team won TAR 18 leading into TAR Australia 1.
There is so much pressure to do something that has already been done three times before.
RENAE: It’s a personal goal now. It is the women versus the men.
I have really liked Sam & Renae all season long. If I can just block out this one clip out of my mind, all will be well in this blog. OK. Done. Let’s move on.
Renae closes the trunk of the cab.
I can’t tell if there was bird poop or semen on the trunk of the car that Renae touched.
That recycling bin may or may not be overflowing.
Matt & Tom are fourth to the cars. They search for the boot.
TOM: As we saw the car, we knew we had to call it Bindy. It was a khaki scona.
A khaki scona named Bindi?
I know Bindi has something to do with the name of the Irwin daughter, but the rest of the Aussie slang went over my head. I thought only Dave dove into the depths of Aussie slang.
MATT: I can’t find the boot on this heap of shit!
TOM: What’s this thing do?
So much confusion.
“Maybe if I push up and down on it, the boot will magically fly open at the other end.”
TOM: Is this thing even road worthy?
Bags are squished in the back.
It sucks for the camera operator and sound operator as they shall be suffocated by Matt &Tom’s extra bags. I bet it was hard to resist the temptation of opening the trunk for them.
Jeff & Luke join Tyler & Nathan. It is 7:20am.
In other news, Nathan does not like the cold weather. I think people who wear hijabs have more skin exposed than Nathan in the Czech Republic.
Cars are honking at Chris’ driving ability.
Why is Chris’ “Shut up now?” in the form of a question?
A skeleton heckles Chris’ driving and laughs at him.
Anastasia is amused too.
Chris hugs it out with his boys.
The doors open. Luke comments on the smell.
Such a Luke thing to say.
How did the crowd get in? I thought the place was closed!
Are teams going to be bodychecked by the players? Poor Dave & Kelly.
Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the World Juniors tournament! In today’s game it is the Czech Republic versus. . .Australia???????????
TYLER: My helmet kills, dude!
It won’t compare to the pain if you were to smash your head on the ice and get a concussion!
CHRIS: Oh my god! We’re playing freakin’ ice hockey!
Chris! Look behind you! Anastasia is about to Todd Bertuzzi you!
Tyler is already pointing and laughing at Jeff on ice.
JEFF: I had heart tremors trying to balance, and move, and not fall over, and hit a very small black puck into a space that is way too small and the goalie should have been much smaller. It was pretty rubbish actually.
I am amazed Australians even have a national hockey uniform.
The kid in the pink Yankees hat is the most supportive of Jeff.
HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT ICE HOCKEY IS RUBBISH! THE CANADIAN IN ME IS VERY OFFENDED!!!!!!
Alright guys. You ready for a special segment of Racers on Ice? Here we go!
Let’s see Jeff attempt a crab walk!
Let’s check in with Anastasia who is playing the role of Gandalf.
“You shall not pass!”
ANASTASIA: What I could do is use my hockey stick to row myself out.
Anastasia will now show off her safety demonstration if a fire were to break out in the building.
“Crawl below the smoke line!”
NATHAN: We’re ripping straight away and think “yeah, we’ve got this in the bag”.
Knock the stick away, Nate!
Look at that takeoff!
That glove is getting some air!
That is how a turtle is on ice.
NATHAN: We got a shock when we were on our backs most of the time.
Tyler is laughing hysterically at Nate’s falls.
We resume our men versus women storyline as Sam & Renae are hopelessly lost in Prague.
Usually it’s men who suck at directions. Well, Sam & Renae are attempting to break all gender expectations.
Dave & Kelly are walking.
Neither team wants to take a cab, eh?
KELLY (using air quotes): We find our “vehicle”.
“We must walk through Prague to find ‘The Laser’.”
DAVE: A very unique Czechoslovakian vehicle of a vintage unknown. About my vintage.
Wait? Who is our old guy in the race? Is it Jeff or is it Dave? The editing confuses me each week.
KELLY: Beat the goalie and score your next clue.
DAVE: Oh no!
Dave’s body can feel the pain even before it happens.
Sam has an idea of where to find the cars.
Renae declines. Most likely because all they are going to see are their shoes.
RENAE: That’s the river. I think it’s up here, Sam. It doesn’t look like it’s down there.
SAM: Let’s have a look down there.
We cut to a confessional.
SAM: I did mention to Renae “let’s look down the bridge like near the river”.
Renae knows what’s coming.
SAM: I think I said it about three times.
RENAE: You said it once.
SAM: No, I said it three times.
Sam says everything in threes ever since she watched Beetlejuice.
SAM: And sure enough where were the cars, Renae?
RENAE: Under the bridge–
SAM: Under the bridge!
Sam’s exchange with Renae is said in the most Aussie tone possible. It’s hilarious.
Under the bridge.
Under the bridge.
We cut back to the rink for more of Racers on Ice.
Tyler dives like a baseball player in the outfield.
Joseph Stalin in the top right corner is not impressed.
This may be the hardest challenge yet for the Aussies.
NATHAN: I’d skate up to the goalie and see the goalie standing there and think “How do I get this past him?” You try to trick him but you end up tricking yourself.
He’s winding up!
Swing and a miss! I didn’t know we were playing baseball!
And I thought I sucked on ice skates!
Tyler proceeds to turn it into a party by doing The Worm on the ice.
Do The Worm, my man!
The Humpty Dance is Tyler’s chance to do The Hump!
The woman in the front row is the only one laughing. Her laugh is really loud that her friend turns to her to give a ‘WTF?’ expression. Priceless.
JEFF: I found the ice hockey skating quite challenging.
Luke’s reaction indicates that is an understatement.
JEFF: I actually think I ruptured my liver at one point.
When was that?
Was it when his limbs were flailing like a maniac?
Protect the funny bone!
Or not. Ouch!
“Ow! My ass and my elbow!”
Was this it?
Luke coaches Jeff into not skating as much, and to just push the puck forward and take a long range shot. Luke shall skate further in.
Between the legs!
Peak of Luke’s flexibility!
Chris & Anastasia have their crack at the ice–er, I mean goalie.
Kiss for good luck.
Chris takes his penalty shot.
Another swing and a miss! Chris put so much power into that “shot” he starts spinning on the spot.
“What do I do?! What do I do?!”
Chris panics out loud while Tyler laughs.
No more circling. It is strictly business for Chris.
Tyler & Nathan are laughing in advance of the next blunder.
Chris fires a shot.
The recoil is a bitch.
Chris is doing the Lindy Hop!
Anastasia lines up her shot.
CHRIS: Yeah! I didn’t fall!
The same cannot be said for his partner.
ANASTASIA: Well, I am not the best ice skater.
But she is the best ice swimmer.
CHRIS: I’m not the best ice skater. You are the worst.
“No, I am saying you are the worst in general. I am not even addressing your ice skating.”
ANASTASIA: I think the crowd was cheering for everyone else to score; I think the crowd was actually cheering to see me fall.
Do the Worm!
The crowd goes wild.
That’s just embarrassing.
Matt & Tom are pulled over on the side of the road.
At least he has the windshield wipers working.
MATT: Stalling on a main street in a foreign country when you’re not sure what side of the road you are supposed to be on. Probably not the best way to start the leg.
TOM: We had to pushstart down the hill into oncoming traffic, started it, reversed it around the corner, and managed to keep going.
Sam & Renae are on the road.
SAM: Renae’s driving is fine. She’s a good driver.
RENAE: I’m a good driver normally. People didn’t like us. People were yelling at us to get off the road.
SAM: People were really rude.
RENAE: Oh. It’s a green light.
Sam & Renae are really going downhill this season.
Matt was initially on the wrong side of the road. On the way to the ice rink, a siren is heard.
MATT: We may have broken a small rule here and there. They leapt out of their vehicle.
TOM: With a hand on their gun.
A shootout with a cop would be the most cowboy thing ever to happen on The Amazing Race. I didn’t know the OK Corral was in Prague.
MATT: Ah! You speak English, sir?
It would be funny if the cop silently punched through the glass and started wailing on Matt, Tom, and the production crew inside.
We head to a commercial break then resume.
MATT: The cops were very unhappy.
“Where we live, we don’t even have cops.”
MATT: Once they realized we were harmless and hadn’t broken too many laws, they led us to the the ice rink.
TOM: They escorted us there.
And something tells me they didn’t use the same tactic as Renae did to get an escort from the police. I can’t even comprehend Matt & Tom being flirtatious or walking around in Daisy Dukes to get their way.
MATT: I think they did it just to get us off the roads.
At the ice hockey rink, Tyler misses another shot.
“Maybe if I beat the shit out of the goalie, our chances of scoring a goal will increase.”
Nathan tries to do a sneaky shot.
I think Nathan has a higher chance of getting himself into the net rather than the puck.
The next plan is to moon the goalie.
Evidence of an ice skating novice.
Chris misses a couple shots. So does Jeff.
He is over this task.
Tyler scores a goal. They show the exact same shot of the crowd as when Anastasia fell.
The guy near the top right is doing an identical pose.
You would think Tyler wiped out again, but he is actually celebrating.
I am amazed neither of them tipped over during their hug.
Seconds later, Chris scores a goal.
CHRIS: I’m going right then I shot left. It was brilliant.
“I’m the f–king man!”
Are Chris & Anastasia seriously keeping up with Tyler & Nathan? This is scary.
Both teams read they need to go to the St. Nicholas Cathedral, climb to the top of the tower, and photograph a “person of interest”.
Grant reveals this place was a former Soviet spy post. They will use a provided camera at the top of the tower to photograph a person of interest below waving a marked flag. If teams are not careful, they will take a photo of the wrong flag being waved by somebody else. If they are correct, they will receive their next clue.
I should note James Bond music is playing while Grant explains this task.
Cameras on smart phones aren’t advanced enough as of 2011.
The spy has a background in Rhythmic gymnastics.
Who is waving the wrong flag?
He looks like a friend of Connor and Jonathan’s.
Why is he waving one of the rejected flag sketches of Albania?
Look at all of those mega pixels!
Roadblock: Who wants to hunt for Red October?
Dave & Kelly are the fourth team to the arena. Kelly is not comfortable on the skates.
KELLY: Can I crawl on my bum?
Kelly copies the wizarding stance of the other teams who preceded her.
She gives up her staff within seconds. Good luck being able to fire a shot with enough power from that position. This may or may not come down to Dave.
KELLY: It was the most ridiculous attempt at ice skating in the history of the world.
DAVE: My legs went limp and I hit the deck. It was no fun at all.
I have never seen people laugh so hard over a series of injuries that are soon to come.
You would think the contestant who looks like Santa Claus would be used to ice.
But that is not the case.
Dave is like a turtle on ice.
He will be joining Kelly in the Butt Scoot technique in no time.
The crowd boos Luke after missing a shot.
It is the strongest reaction Luke has elicited from fans all season long.
Luke somehow does not fall.
And even has a grip on the puck.
Luke scores a goal.
A ninety degree signal equals a goal, I guess.
Luke attempts a celebration on the rink.
Dammit, I forgot I am still on skates.
Bury me with my money.
LUKE: We paid a guy we found on the street outside the hockey stadium to lead us to the tower.
Are you allowed to do that in the Australian version? They banned this in the American version after TAR 11: Real All Stars.
And when Luke says they found a guy on the street, it really does look like a guy who is on the streets.
“A camera? What’s this?”
Jeff & Luke re-enter their vehicle.
LUKE: Well, that was fun.
JEFF (flattest tone possible): Yeah. Hilarious.
I think it is safe to say that Luke will be on his own at the next father-son free skate day back in Australia.
We cut to Matt & Tom. Matt has the biggest overreaction to seeing the race flags at the ice hockey rink.
After six rounds, the effects of the race are truly getting to the racers.
MATT: We got Bush, Well, and Shirley the entire morning. We got arrested and got lost. Now we have to play ice hockey when neither of us have skated before.
Can they wear their cowboy hats on top of the helmet?
The Czech team laughs at their new challengers.
MATT: I’ve never seen snow or ice in my life apart from what we see in the freezer. Natural born ice skaters. You would never think we were from the desert.
Matt is confused as he thinks his hockey stick is a golf club.
Matt won’t be in the NHL nor the PGA as he misses the puck.
Kelly is completely stationary on the ice.
But still manages to fall.
Dave is in front of the net as he shoots.
Dave reacts in the most Aussie way possible to a big fall.
DAVE (crying in agony): AHHHHHH! FAR OUT!!!!
Ow! Me legs!
There is one more gem to this scene which makes this one of the funniest clips thus far. Dave gets to his knees.
“How far am I going to throw my stick?”
(Kelly screams off-screen after being hit by the stick.)
Yes, it is implied that Dave threw his stick and managed to accidentally knock his wife off-balance. Dave accidentally takes out his own teammate.
DAVE: I think that was one of the most taxing things I have ever done in my life. I think I had my moments today where my frustration came to the surface.
Dave attempts another shot but the goalie easily deflects the puck.
Take your time, man.
Nevermind. Czechs play with no mercy.
Dave is ready to whack him.
You probably want to back off when you anger a man who has wrestled a crocodile with his bare hands.
Come at me, bro.
KELLY: Are you going to be alright?
DAVE: I want to smack this bastard in the face with a stick first.
There is a problem with that, Dave.
The goalie isn’t threatened by a man who can’t even make it to the net.
DAVE: I’m gonna smack him in the mouth.
“I’ll do it from my bloody knees if I have to!”
We go to commercial. We resume with the goalie thwacking Dave on his knees with a stick. Get up, Dave!
Just kidding. Jeff & Luke are somehow first to the tower. Their guy from the streets was helpful.
Their ice hockey training continues with a bit of cardio running up the steps of the tower.
Jeff reveals they only have thirty seconds to take a photo of the marked person of interest from the top of the tower. That is not much time.
“Nobody sees The Wizard! Not nobody not no how!”
“Luke, all I see are the winning lotto numbers.”
Luke is at the other hole and takes a photo of the decoy.
Did Luke somehow grow a mullet since he did the ice hockey task? I know hockey players all have mullets, but didn’t think it was that instantaneous.
Their fearless leader examines the photo.
JUDGE: Niet. You failed.
The Kodak EasyShare digital camera failed them.
Luke fears a demotion and his next assignment.
LUKE: I saw a guy waving a flag. Maybe his name was Mark instead of a MARKed flag.
It is a good thing Luke signed up for The Amazing Race rather than The Mole.
Thanks to the tricky producers, Jeff & Luke’s photo of Mark results in their next clue going begging.
And yes, the penalty is that they have to count all of the steps in the tower. Once they have the correct number, they will receive their next clue. 304 steps.
Which is actually 608 steps because they have to make it all the way back down first before coming up to count. Furthermore, they already climbed 304 steps to get to the tower which means screwing up on the photo challenge results in running up 912 steps.
Sam & Renae arrive at the ice hockey rink.
SAM: Did you know ice hockey is one of the most dangerous sports?
RENAE: Yeah, I know.
Right on cue.
Sam has skated before while Renae hasn’t. Renae picks it up easily.
Renae doesn’t even fall during her first shot. Kelly points out that Matt & Tom are skating around like ice skating champions.
Tom scores a goal.
TOM: Basically dummied left then did another trick on the right then flicked it over on top of him. Slips right in.
Tom has a future in his sport. He can trade in his steel-toed boots for a couple of ice skates!
Matt uses Tom for balance as Tom reads the clue.
Jeff & Luke re-explain their tower penalty to the camera.
JEFF: We took the image to the guard at the top of the tower said. . .niet.
Jeff is not a fan of Soviet guards.
They are already at the top of the tower without another team present.
“I hold chalkboard. You write, Allied scum.”
GUARD: Yes. That’s good.
“The clue isn’t going to detonate when I touch it, right?”
Jeff & Luke open the clue. It’s a Detour.
This industrial zone is not as glamourous as Grant’s castle from the last round.
Teams must choose between Stack Up or Stack In.
In Stack Up, teams must make their way to the packaging area of the Pilsner brewery, and stack two palettes of beer cartons.
In Stack In, teams must go to the restaurant at the Pilsner Brewery. They must eat eighteen traditional Czech sausages from a pig’s head, tongue, heart, and liver. Only then will they receive their next clue.
EIGHTEEN?! My god. I am vegetarian and would barely eat three.
Not even Chuck and Wynona could eat eighteen sausages between the two of them.
It is a good thing that Grant is at the Pilsner Brewery.
Because if it was Jon Montgomery, the host of Amazing Race Canada, he would be completely sloshed by the time he got to the pit stop.
Monty’s wet dream.
What is with food eating challenges being accompanied by a live band in central Europe?
They had a band for the Hungarian spicy soup in TAR 6 too.
My stomach churned.
Much too good for children!
I know people were protesting a new Babe sequel, but this is ridiculous.
Today I learned what a pig’s tongue looks like.
Teams will need a lot of heart to get through this challenge.
I like chicken,
I like liver,
Pig mix pig mix,
The Pilsner diet is how she maintains her figure!
Jeff & Luke wisely choose Stack Up. It looks so much damn easier.
JEFF: Nailed it. Nailed it.
Why do hockey players always say that on The Amazing Race?
Tyler & Nathan and Chris & Anastasia arrive at the tower. Tyler & Nathan are first to the top.
This isn’t James and the Giant Peach, Tyler. You’re looking for a flag.
Rather than looking through the other hole, Nathan is fixated on the camera.
Tyler sees a flag and asks for the camera.
Or they are both being Peeping Toms. I am not sure which is happening.
Tyler & Nathan fail.
Chris & Anastasia are at the top.
GUARD: Welcome comrades.
“I said ‘wait’ before you draft us into the KGB, and I meant it!”
Anastasia is looking out of the main hole. Chris is at another hole.
Woody the Woodpecker has since joined their team and is at the third hole. He’s not even trying at this task! He’s just mugging for the camera! That bastard. I want to hit him in the face with a stick!
Anastasia asks for the camera. She has found him. She is certain of it.
GUARD: Niet. You failed. You shall have your head shaved, your eyebrows waxed, and be exiled to our finest gulags in Siberia.
CHRIS: Did you zoom in? Did you zoom in?
ANASTASIA: I did! I did zoom in!
CHRIS: Look, there’s no other–
ANASTASIA: Quit screaming at me.
CHRIS: I’m not screaming. You’re screaming.
Did not! Are too! Did not! Are too!
Tyler & Nathan submit their guess for the step count.
How did they miss it by one?
Does Bobby Brown need to help them count every little step they take?
Tyler is surprised they have to count again.
GUARD: Niet. Where did you learn to count?
TYLER: You’re kidding.
NATHAN: I wanted to wring his neck.
I would not advise that against a man who is ex-KGB. Besides, your muscles are weak after counting 1216 steps when you return. . .or should I say 1215?
Chris & Anastasia submit a correct guess. Anastasia reads the Detour.
CHRIS: Stack in?
“Eighteen sausages? Stack up?
CHRIS: You want to win?
“Uhhhh. . .can we win without spending our pit stop pooping out pig DNA?”
ANASTASIA: Let’s go eat some sausages.
Boy wants to eat.
ANASTASIA: I don’t think I am going to be able to take a bite of this sausage. I think I am going to throw up looking at the sausage. That’s what I think.
Have you noticed whenever Anastasia disagrees with Chris that she always adds “that’s what I think” to the end of each statement?
I love how Chris’ instinct is to grab near his crotch when Anastasia claims she will throw up if she looks at or tries to put a sausage in her mouth. It is as if it has happened before.
Two teams are still at the ice hockey rink.
SAM: We started having some fun. Dave and Kelly were struggling hardcore.
Dave lines up another shot.
Dave lands on his right hip. Ouch.
DAVE: AHHHHH!!!! FAR OUT!!!!!!!
Dave has a future as a soccer player. Well, one that is actually hurt for once.
Dave’s attempt at a sexy modeling pose.
“Can somebody lift me up? AHHHHH! It’s FAR UP!!!!!!”
Renae stops daydreaming and lifts Dave up.
Renae looks like she is about to jersey him.
RENAE: He’s hurt his leg.
I think he has hurt a lot of things.
“Do we put him in the penalty box or the retirement home?”
Dave makes it onto his knees.
Don’t know why we needed this shot of Dave.
Or this shot of Kelly.
Kelly has aged twenty years since entering the ice. I’m meltingggggg.
DAVE: We were hurting so bad. I was done and dastard. Every time I swung that stick I was on my ass. It was a painful experience I wanted to end. Kelly was hurting too. I thought “let’s just finish this now”. Let’s end it. Let’s take a four hour penalty.
They talk on the ice.
KELLY: Should we take the four hour? Which is what we should have done an hour ago.
DAVE: We’re gonna have to, mate. I can’t do this. Oooooooh.
I have never seen a team look so helpless on TAR.
We resume. Dave wants to finish the task properly. Kelly describes herself as a pitbull. We get a highly edited shot that scores.
Even though this puts Sam & Renae in last place, they cheer for Kelly anyway.
DAVE: She snuck one in on him.
Kelly collapses to her knees. It’s over.
Dave is just happy he won’t die.
Sam lines up the next shot.
Her Central European heritage will come in handy.
Sam scores a goal.
SAM: It was a bit of a fluke.
Just to show how close the two teams are, the editors throw in this clip of both teams reading the clue. The teams are neck and neck. . .
Or face to face.
DAVE: I’ve done my shoulder, my hips, and my calf. I am completely destroyed. That was great. That was really well worth it to be in last place.
I don’t think Dave is being sarcastic.
Tyler & Nathan finish off their second attempt at the step count.
GUARD: You’re finally right.
The guard loves trolling Tyler & Nathan. It is lucky he was not stabbed in the eye with chalk.
Tyler & Nathan choose Stack Up.
Matt & Tom are fourth to the tower.
MATT: They love spiral staircases in this country.
Hey, you guys weren’t even supposed to see the other spiral staircase.
Something tells me they will be counting a second set.
Matt peeks his head out of the main hole.
Matt misjudges how high it is.
It’s “Where’s Waldo?” motherfucker!
Matt’s body is on the verge of tumbling onto the streets of Zimni below.
Tom calls over Matt.
TOM: There’s a dude waving a flag.
“You know that guy who has duped the other three teams before us? Let’s take a picture of him.”
And so another team is duped. They are 0-for-4.
Which is too bad because Matt was proud of that picture.
Jeff & Luke are first to the Pilsner Brewery. Luke tells us he used to work in a bottle depot.
The first one is already stacked for them. A cheap headstart if you ask me!
LUKE: Let’s do everything slowly and methodically and not make any mistakes.
Well, this will be exciting.
Jeff reiterates this is their leg to win.
Matt & Tom finish counting the steps.
GUARD: That is good.
MATT: I would’ve thrown you out the window if you said ‘no’.
Especially when it’s two against one.
MATT: Thanks, comrade.
In other news, McCarthy has now banned Matt from entering the United States.
Tom reads the clue.
TOM: Eighteen sausages or a palette of piss?
A palette of piss? That’s what Pilsner tastes like, to be honest.
For some reason, Tom chooses to eat rather than handle a palette of piss.
On the way down, they run into Sam & Renae and offer some advice.
MATT: I like to think of myself as a good person. Damsels in distress. That’s my weak point.
TOM: We told them not to take a photo of the dude with the flag. But apparently. . .there was a correct dude with a flag.
Yes. Don’t take a photo of a big flag. You guys are real pals.
I have a feeling this will end badly for Matt & Tom. If you thought the damsels were distressed before, I think they will become much more distressed in a few moments.
By the way, how many damsels work as a car mechanic on the side?
And purchase bandanas while traveling through Compton?
Sam & Renae search for “not a dude with a big flag”.
“Is that a dude with big flag? Zoom in!”
RENAE: We’ve seen the guy waving the yellow and red flag.
It is a medium flag. Not a big flag.
SAM: It was a Russian spy. It was all very sexy.
Sam may have returned the camera, but I am certain she kept the SD card!
“Do you have his number?”
Sam & Renae ignore Matt & Tom’s advice, and receive the clue.
SAM: “Don’t go with the guy with the big flag!” Yeah, awesome.
I feel bad for Matt & Tom, but this is hilarious to watch unfold.
RENAE: The Cowboys actually tried to screw us over.
SAM: People are going to try and screw you over. It’s a lot of money on the line. They’re going to try and give you misleading information.
Matt & Tom are in the parking lot giving themselves a pat on the back for risking their own position in the game by helping a trailing team.
Well done, boys! Everything is coming up Milhouse!
I spoke too soon. The clutch on their car is awful. Matt jumps out of the car and helps push it.
Matt pushes the car until the problem is fixed.
If this were TAR 11: Real All Stars, this is the point where Drew accidentally runs over Matt.
Sam & Renae are pissed with Matt & Tom’s unintentional deception.
SAM: “Don’t take a photo of the guy with the flag cause it’s not right.” Yes, we found the guy with the flag and took the photo of it. It was very much right. So, it goes to show–
RENAE: There is no alliances left in the game anymore. So I think it’s just game on.
This is the second round in a row that Sam & Renae have accused another team of betraying them when an attempt at a betrayal never took place. Sam & Renae must be cringing as they watch this episode with their friends.
Dave & Kelly are last to the tower.
DAVE: Hey comrade, how are you? Who am I looking for?
Is the guy waving the flag far out?
Dave & Kelly argue over the technology in this task.
DAVE: Don’t click or nothing. Turn it off for now.
KELLY: No, I need to have it ready because we only have thirty seconds when we see him.
DAVE: Oh god.
I love how horrified Dave is by the time limit. Dude, you just snapped your hip in half and now you are worried about a time constraint?
Dave & Kelly cannot even see the guy waving the yellow flag.
One of those rare times where being blind is an advantage.
They move to another hole.
Comrade notes they are not easy to deceive.
Dave creeps into the frame as Kelly spots the sexy Russian spy.
Where is the button to upload it onto Instagram? It is guaranteed at least 100 likes.
Dave & Kelly receive their clue.
Comrade is happy that “Bring Your Aussies to Work Day” is finally over.
We cut to Chris & Anastasia who are discussing Chris’ Detour decision in the car.
ANASTASIA: There’s no way you want to do the beer thing?
“Honey? Can you rethink this, please? That’s what I think.”
CHRIS: We’re doing the sausages. It’s whether you have the GUTS–it’s very appropro. Hahahahahaha. To attempt to eat six sausages. Okay?
He is on the verge of a full scale argument with his girlfriend, but Chris can’t help himself but to take a moment and admire his own pun. That just kills me.
“Here goes my future as a mactress.”
Chris parks the car.
CHRIS: Let’s eat some sausages. Boom!
“You said you always wanted to do more things together.”
Welcome to the lair of Formanka!
Here you don’t need a reservation.
In fact, they have been waiting ten years for their next customer.
Chris picks one of the links.
Anastasia already has her mouth open preparing to feast.
Chris chews a piece.
Anastasia is already queasy. What’s the verdict, Chris?
“Shit. Stas was right.”
CHRIS: As soon as it went down and I half handled it, I knew she wouldn’t handle it. My stomach went ‘eeeh,’ I’m done. Let’s go.
Chris estimates he can handle anything twice as much as the next person. Therefore, if he can half handle something, his teammate cannot handle it at all. Classic Chris.
CHRIS: We have decided to change Detours!
“They’re going to get a nasty review on Yelp!”
Matt helps Tom push the car on the highway. Lots of cars are honking at them.
The Czechs are running out of patience with Matt & Tom today.
MATT: Go! Go! GO!
Matt does his best Gina & Sylvia impression.
Tom checks the rearview mirror to see if any more police are waiting to pull him over.
TOM: Oh dear.
But he really should have been looking ahead.
For the second time this episode, and the third time overall this season, Matt & Tom are pulled over by the police.
Matt starts laughing.
MATT: It was definitely coughing, sputtering, and smackering as we came around the corner, and was a likely target for the local PoPo.
“We tease ’em a lot cause we’ve got ’em on the spot. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.”
MATT: How many times can we get pulled over by the police in one day?
Well, they aren’t even at the Detour yet. We could see two more checkstops by police.
The officer approaches their window.
COP: Car document.
MATT: Car document?
Looks like our good ol’ boys are in trouble with the law again. Can they use their country charm to get out of another jam? Tune in after these messages.
Commercial break. And we resume.
MATT: They realized we just got our ringers lost in suburbia in Prague, and told us to move on.
They lucked out again. My god.
Matt doesn’t want to say anything until the cop leaves. He does not want to blow it.
They ask the cop for directions. That helps.
“Tom fought the law (three times) and Tom won.”
Seconds later, Matt is shown pushing the car again.
How far is Matt going to push this car?
He may have to push it all the way to the brewery in this chilly six degrees Celsius weather!
Tyler & Nathan drive to the restaurant.
NATHAN: I think the eating one is definitely going to be fast-uh.
TYLER: I’m confident in eating, but wouldn’t be able to eat fifteen or something.
NATHAN: Well, I’m not the fastest eater. You know that. I’ll try my best.
TYLER: Well, you can throw up if you have to, man.
That’s right. Just one episode earlier, Tyler called Nathan a girl because he struggled with eating a Dutch pastry.
If Nathan could barely handle a Dutch pastry, how the hell did they draw the conclusion that Nathan could eat his share of sausages?
Perhaps this is Tyler’s secret plan to humiliate Nathan on TV.
Tyler & Nathan enter the restaurant.
By the way, this is the restaurant’s first gig in about ten years.
Nathan takes a bite.
Tyler takes a bite too.
He does not agree.
TYLER: I don’t think I can do it.
Who’s the girl now, bitch?
NATHAN: Why? You always stood up as the freakin’ eating warrior.
TYLER: This ain’t sausage.
Looks like sausage to me.
TYLER: I was always the one going “you better eat it Nate, I can eat anything”. I was nearly dry retching. It was disgusting. It was oily, gross, and it was rank.
It’s like he is drinking out of a cauldron holding a horcrux.
And out it comes.
The band’s music sounds depressing as Tyler & Nathan walk out.
We cut to the room in the brewery where Jeff & Luke continue to stack. Tthey estimate their lead is fifteen to twenty minutes. Chris & Anastasia show up.
Chris passes the boxes to Anastasia before he runs behind her. She is confused why he is doing this relay method rather than them both run with the boxes.
ANASTASIA: Take it and go. Take it and go!
CHRIS: I am faster than you. Why would I go ahead of you? Follow my lead.
It would be funnier if Chris sprinted the last two steps each time just to prove he is faster than Anastasia.
Because the restaurant is at the brewery, Tyler & Nathan also show up.
It is a shame the restaurant could not be at the other end of town. Producers knew nobody could eat the sausage, and it would have been an epic way to troll them.
NATHAN: There was a certain way to stack them, and we didn’t think of that.
TYLER: No, we knew that.
NATHAN: I didn’t.
TYLER: I wouldn’t have stacked it–No. We knew that.
NATHAN: I didn’t know how to do that.
TYLER: Luckily you had me then.
Thank god TAR is not a solo race.
We watch Nathan ask Tyler how they should be stacking the boxes.
“Hey Tyler, the little wuss who couldn’t eat some sausage, how do I stack this?”
Anastasia wants to switch the structure of their stacking, but Chris prevents her from doing so. Anastasia insists their structure is not correct.
ANASTASIA: Babe, you’re not stacking them properly, and it’s upsetting me.
Wow. This sounds like the type of dialogue you would hear at a couples’ therapy.
“This is your improper stacking makes me feel. . .”
ANASTASIA: This one’s not far out enough.
For once, “far out” is used in the literal sense that the rest of the world uses it.
Look at all of that beer. In the Czech Republic, that is enough to feed one household for a week.
Jeff & Luke complete the task in first place. They read that they must drive themselves to the town of Kutna Hora and find the “Church of Assumption of Our Lady in St. John the Baptist”. Their next clue awaits.
At least you won’t have to worry about there being multiple “Church of Assumption of Our Lady in St. John the Baptist” when researching directions.
From this point forward, production will simply refer to this route marker as “church”.
They will have more of an audience than the band at the restaurant.
Here is the clue in case you were curious.
Jeff instructs Luke to gun the engine of the car. The church is seventy-five kilometres away. That should be long enough of a drive for Matt & Tom to get pulled over by the cops again.
Chris & Anastasia’s stack is approved. They receive their next clue.
And you know the stack has to be perfect when this guy sees nothing but angles in his vision.
I don’t know if Chris is celebrating or has heartburn from the sausage.
CHRIS: We’re getting first today, and I know we’ve earned it. We’ve earned it I can feel it.
Chris feels it. So do Jeff & Luke. Somebody has to be wrong.
Tyler & Nathan finish the Detour in third.
Despite two run-ins with the cops, Matt & Tom are fourth to the Detour. They enter the restaurant.
MATT: At home we make our own sausages of what we kill, and thought eating eighteen sausages wouldn’t be too hard.
It wouldn’t be as hard as being forced to play a trombone for thirty years.
MATT: But when we got there. . .a funky green colour.
“We need to run a class in Prague teaching these blokes how to make sausage links.”
MATT: What do you reckon? Any good?
TOM: . . .No.
Although Tom probably anticipated that.
TOM: The taste was. . .
TOM: And the smell was. . .
Since this episode, Matt & Tom have been vegetarians. Full time.
What did Matt think of this task after eating his first bite?
Yeah, they switch.
Dave & Kelly are fourth to the beer stacking. I repeat, fourth.
With no one around, they probably think they are last.
DAVE: We couldn’t get a beer at a brewery. That’s a bloody sad day.
Eh, just take one extra box with you into the car. You won’t lose too much time, Dave.
Sam & Renae show up.
RENAE: We got. . .quite competitive.
KELLY: Renae’s massive hands just went like that, and took them off the conveyor. It took me a bit more to get them off the conveyor, but Renae was plucking them up like they were nothing.
Dave seems horrified by Renae’s hands.
If you’re not careful Kel, Renae will pluck ’em up and toss ’em at the back of your head.
Matt & Tom are last to the beer stacking. Dave cusses out Matt & Tom for blocking the conveyor and taking multiple boxes.
Matt smirks as he passes Tom two boxes.
Oh, and a third one just to give himself a chance of catching up.
MATT: One at a time, they reckon.
Dave & Kelly remark it was getting snaky and pushy.
“This elbow is for lying to us at the tower!”
Renae is right behind Matt in line at the conveyor.
Tom disregards the line as Matt hands off the next box. Renae is upset that Tom jumped the queue.
RENAE: They’re cheating. Let’s go.
Matt & Tom can feel the hatred aimed at them in the room.
There are no cops around to have Matt’s back now.
Renae says Tom shoved in front of her, and felt bad by giving her a box.
Sam’s massive hands keep them in the running.
Matt & Tom’s strategy of pissing everyone else off continues.
DAVE: Oh, c’mon.
TOM: Settle down old fella.
Dave is raging.
DAVE: I got blocked a couple of times by the cowboys.
Dave shoulderchecks Tom.
The ice hockey task had a bad influence on them.
Tom wisely dodges.
DAVE: If he tries to walk through me one more time, I am going to drop him.
KELLY: Dave, you’re just making things worse.
It’s a good thing you can’t drink during this task. Things could escalate even further.
MATT: Dave was in a hurry to get his stack done, and was jostling to get you out of the way.
Tom is not terribly fond of Dave.
Dave jostles Kelly out of the way.
KELLY: Dave! For Christ’s sake!
DAVE: Sorry, sorry.
“They’re making fun of my hands, aren’t they?”
Sam & Renae say they know they need to get out of there. It is a commercial break as the three teams avoid being in last place.
We resume. Sam & Renae’s confessional is repeated. They are finished the Detour in fourth.
Sam’s hands are dainty enough to open the envelope with a delicate touch.
Dave & Kelly are done in fifth. Matt & Tom are pissed they can’t drink any of the Pilsner as they finish in last.
For some reason, after wearing the same hat for seven straight rounds, Matt is developing really bad hat hair.
Dave & Kelly pull over at a gas station to ask for directions.
Let’s hope it goes better than their previous attempt at asking for directions in Cape Town.
DAVE: Where are we on the map?
KELLY: You can’t speak Czech?
Kelly briefly explains that the map they have is in Czech.
So who better to ask than a Czech local?
DAVE: This is all written in Czechoslovakian.
“No, it’s actually written in Idontgiveafuckenese.”
Dave snatches the map.
DAVE: Thank you very much for very little!
If one more thing doesn’t go Dave’s way today, I suspect somebody will be wearing an ass for a hat.
Dave takes his anger out on the clutch. It may not be a smart thing to do when these cars aren’t exactly sturdy.
DAVE: That just cost us ten minutes of squat.
Dave probably wants to smash through the camera lens with his elbow.
Meanwhile, the clutch is not being clutch for Matt & Tom in last place.
Matt doesn’t even bother to keep his car door closed anymore this round.
MATT: We were up the creek without a paddle.
Matt can no longer do it alone.
It’s a community effort.
MATT: We’ll burn it when we finish with it.
Jeff & Luke think they are at the church.
It won’t open.
And there goes first place.
Chris & Anastasia are first to the church. It’s a Roadblock.
ANASTASIA: Who wants to scale the heavenly heights?
Anastasia wants to do it. That’s what I think.
Grant has to explain the Roadblock in a hushed voice as he interrupts choir practice.
You’re blocking the maestro, Grant! Or are you going to join the choir?
In this Roadblock, one team member must climb to the ceiling of the church then abseil down again to receive their next clue.
“Hideily ho, neighbourinoo.”
What’s up there, anyway?
A church choir is singing while somebody from up above secretly abseils down? Is this The Amazing Race or the start of that initial scene of destruction in an action movie?
“Fear not, comrades! For I am your saviour!”
It’s one way to bring in revenue for the church.
CHRIS: You’re not going to die. They’ll make sure of that.
ANASTASIA: Okay, I’ll do it.
And it’s a church, so you’ll just be resurrected.
Every time a bell rings, an Anastasia gets her wings.
Anastasia is excited.
Chris keeps an eye on things to ensure nothing is going wrong.
Anastasia is led up a windy set of stairs. She is unsure what is going to happen next.
Well, if a pastor is leading you to a dark room alone with him in a Catholic church, history would dictate. . .whatever it is, it probably can’t be aired on The Amazing Race.
Anastasia mimes with her hands what happened.
Chris is rightfully paranoid.
“Where is she?”
PASTOR: Take it nice and slow.
Phew. It is just abseiling after all.
The pastor avoids eye contact with Christ–er, I mean Chris.
ANASTASIA: I actually felt like an angel coming down from the ceiling.
Hey, the last time somebody was suspended in mid-air at a church, things didn’t go so well.
This is much more fun.
Anastasia makes it to the floor.
CHRIS: You’re an angel!
Why is Chris posing like an Italian man?
“Thank you! Us being in first place has really rekindled our relationship!”
Chris & Anastasia open the clue. Chris is excited.
ANASTASIA: Travel on foot to the Sedlec Ossuary. Otherwise known as the Bone Church.
Yep. On foot. Chris & Anastasia are guaranteed a leg victory.
Grant informs us the small Roman Catholic church in Kutna Hora contains an estimated 70, 000 human skeletons. The aptly named bone church is the pit stop.
So many bones.
The discarded set pieces for Pirate Master.
Dry Bones would love it here.
“I am surrounded by those who failed to get the gig as host of The Mole or The Amazing Race. I was the only one to survive.”
“And if anyone disagrees with the decision, you can suck it.”
Chris & Anastasia run on foot. Tyler & Nathan are second to the Roadblock. Tyler reluctantly agrees to do it.
Producers are kind to us by showing us another clue.
Jeff & Luke are third to the Roadblock. Luke tells us they were lost four times on the way to the church. They worked hard for their lead.
LUKE: What do you do?
Me? Logan Saunders? I am not ready for that type of self-reflection, Luke.
TYLER: This is epic, dude!
NATE: Yeah, brother!
TYLER: This is so sick, dude!
This exchange is hilarious.
TYLER: I am not religious, but that was like a nice feeling, you know.
NATE: That was my first time in a church.
I identify with this. I didn’t step into a church until I was 25 years old (6 months ago).
I wish my first appearance in a church would be descending from the ceiling. It is cooler than any wave Tyler could catch at Bondi.
Tyler & Nathan have their clue.
Perhaps neither Chris & Anastasia nor Jeff & Luke will be winning this leg. We may see yet another win by Tyler & Nathan.
It is a showdown for first place. With less than a minute to go in the episode, I dread what will occur next.
“If nobody brings me my power bar in the next two minutes, this church will become 70, 001 skulls.”
Who will be first?
Chris kisses the pit stop mat. This is before Grant can tell him that a few stray dogs pissed on it back in Bali, and it hasn’t been washed since then.
They know it.
He knows they know it.
CHRIS: Just say it. Just say it. C’mon. Just say it.
GRANT: Congratulations. You are team number one.
FIRST PLACE: CHRIS & ANASTASIA
Hopefully Bing Lee or Kathmandu includes a box of condoms as the prize for this leg of the race.
GRANT: That’s the good news.
“That’s the good news? What’s the other thing? More good news?”
GRANT: The bad news is. . .
“I will be raising all 70, 000 skeletons from the dead, and you will have to fend them off before I can check you in.”
Dammit, they know what’s coming.
GRANT: . . .It’s not over yet.
You mean it’s the same Keep on Racing twist we have seen eight times in the American version, and once in the Asian version thus far?
I AM SO STUNNED!
WHAT A CLIFFHANGER!!!!!
Next Time on TAR: Is it race over for Tyler & Nathan? On a marathon leg, every team will be pushed to their limits.
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) Prague, Czech Republic -> Zimni, Czech Republic
If I recall correctly, this is by far the shortest episode out of the first seven episodes (while other episodes were up to seventy minutes of running time, this one is only 43 minutes).
Matt & Tom set a new record by being stopped by police TWICE in the same round. Somehow they were not detained or fined by law enforcement in either situation.
The ice hockey challenge proved to be difficult as we saw some extremely painful falls by our dear Aussies. Dave’s incidents were cringeworthy to watch.
Production trolled teams by setting up a Detour task that they knew would be borderline impossible for everyone involved. Seeing three teams fall for this trap was funny.
Sam & Renae receive bad advice from a fellow team for the second round in a row as Matt & Tom were unaware of how to properly succeed at the Russian spy challenge. The comrade was always good for a laugh as he repeatedly insulted Tyler.
You could see this season being taken to the next level as the showdown at the beer stacking between the three trailing teams became more physical than what I was expecting. With five rounds left in the season, we could very well shift to it being a cutthroat battle.
This round does have a lousy ending, though. No prize given to Chris & Anastasia for finishing first, and whoever finishes last on this leg will not be penalized despite it being a Non-Elimination Leg. Sigh.
A mid-season NEL leg can be dull most of the time, but here it holds up reasonably well. A self-drive leg, a unique penalty for failing at a task, and a physical active route info all contributed to a decent round of play.
Oh, and there was abseiling. I almost forgot about it since it was only shown for two minutes.
6) 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.
7) 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.
By the way, do you like listening to podcasts about The Amazing Race? Well, I co-host one almost every week during the year! This is the last one I recorded before going to Hollywood for the TAR 29 finale.