Episode Blog #282
INDONESIA – VIETNAM – CHINA – SOUTH AFRICA – THE NETHERLANDS – CZECH REPUBLIC – POLAND – ISRAEL – SRI LANKA – SINGAPORE – AUSTRALIA
Previously on TAR: Six teams raced from the Czech Republic to Poland, but Tyler & Nathan were robbed along the way. A marathon leg took its toll on every team, and Chris & Anastasia couldn’t go on.
Even when Chris ate four dozen eggs to make sure he got large for the race.
Tonight, the final five teams race to the Middle East. It’s an odyssey through the desert and one team won’t make it to the pit stop. Five teams remain; who will be eliminated next?
Grant says the pit stop houses secret treasures, ancient artwork, and a ghost of a woman who appears nightly. It is now an archaeological museum.
And whatever treasures Grant finds he gets to keep himself as a Christmas bonus for this season.
Jeff & Luke and Tyler & Nathan who were the first teams to arrive at an unspecified time, will depart at 8:45am and 8:46am respectively.
They open the clues and get the biggest surprise in TAR franchise history.
Other than maybe Mauritius in TAR 10 because that is a hella obscure country for TAR to visit.
LUKE: Fly to Tel Aviv, Israel.
No Cialis needed for Jeff anymore.
Wait a second. Israel. Israel. . . .ISRAEL?! On The Amazing Race?! Aren’t they always at war and stuff? Is it safe for them to do a leg in Israel? I was surprised by a Kuwait leg in TAR 10, but this takes it to a whole new level. The news portrays Israel as a super scary place to visit because of all of the religious violence.
But here we are. TAR Australia could not give less of a damn, and we are going to the heart of the Middle East. Prepare for a new Crusade, ladies and gentlemen!
Why, Tel Aviv appears to be a bustling metropolis.
Grant informs us Tel Aviv is the economic centre of Israel.
And look at those beaches!
Once here, teams must find the Azrieli Towers. At the top of the tallest of three buildings, teams will find their next clue.
This is when TAR is at its best–visiting countries that the masses think are “unsafe” and finding cool places to go. These towers look fairly high tech and ready to be showcased on TAR Australia. You know, unlike Fort McMurray.
I really wish they would make teams take the stairs rather than the elevator to the helipad.
JEFF: Not where I thought we were going.
NATHAN: Sweet. I don’t know anything about that.
Nathan’s sarcasm tells me he will not be trading in his toque for a yarmulke anytime soon.
Jeff reveals his strategy since the beginning is to win by collaborations.
JEFF: It is the whole essence of our strategy.
Most teams break off their coalitions once it gets down to five teams. Not Jeff & Luke. They are going to be using their strategy in essence until the end.
JEFF: Tyler and Nathan. They are really top racers. We work incredibly well with that team.
You are going to align with a team you feel are top racers as we head into the fourth quarter of this season? Let me know how that works out for you.
Both teams drive to the airport.
JEFF: It’s almost like we are at an Intersection.
TAR Australia: The season where Intersections never end. . .sorry, Sam & Renae.
Tyler & Nathan talk about how this is a fight for survival.
NATHAN: It doesn’t matter about coming in first–it’s just about not coming in last.
Isn’t the race always like that until the final round?
NATHAN: I think teaming up is pretty good.
Especially when you have no money to buy a map.
“You see this, Nathan? You can’t have thiiiis.”
Jeff & Luke tell them that they will take an extended route to the airport because it is an easier one to follow rather than the fastest route.
TYLER: They suck at directions.
They are harshing his mellow.
Both teams arrive at the airport.
“The father-son duo shall be vanquished!”
They are told the first flight is at 2:50pm and gets into Tel Aviv at 12:20am. I sense an equalizer!
Tyler & Nathan have all of their money on credit but no cash. Typical millennials.
Jeff presumes the other teams will not make the flight.
Sam & Renae are third to depart at 10:07am.
Sam’s hair was done by the folks at the Ninetails Salon.
Renae says they are gutsy and want to do things that blokes do.
SAM: I think we’re surprising all of the men that are left about what we are capable of.
. . .You guys won the first leg. And the previous two US seasons were won by all-female teams.
Oh, and you guys cut more slices of wood than Chris & Anastasia. Renae did car repair for Mo & Mos. I think the teams have caught on that you aren’t a Meredith & Maria.
SAM: It’s a shame we’re not going to Ibiza.
Ibiza is where I lost my laptop. Fun times.
Dave & Kelly depart in fourth at 11:33am. Matt & Tom bring up the rear at 11:34am. Matt & Tom discuss Israeli geography.
Two swings. Two misses. Unless the term “near” is used in a very broad measure.
In that case, we may as well say that Sierra Leone and South Africa are practically neighbours, and I have to stop making fun of Shola & Doyin after all these years.
KELLY: Dave was born to be a steerer.
That’s not a real word, Kelly.
DAVE: When you can’t run 100 miles per hour and you’re not the quickest bloke in the pack, you gotta try anything you can.
Try anything, eh?
Like add in a new nose piercing to boost your chances?
Or put a rose in your bonnet.
DAVE: I think a few have caught on we’re doing a bit of scheming, but it’s all just part of the game.
Dave talks about Tel Aviv.
DAVE: Not in a million years would I have picked that as a destination!
Didn’t they have to apply for an Israeli visa before the start of the race?
Matt has talked about how they have improved their racing style since they started.
MATT: We didn’t have a much of a clue at first, but now we’re hitting our straps. I think they’re going to think twice before labeling bush people as being dumb.
He spoke too soon.
MATT: No wonder there’s so many crashes in this country! The steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car!
I tell that to the British every day.
Sam & Renae ask the ticketing agent what the temperature is in Tel Aviv.
I like how the ticketing agent felt it was necessary to specify it was “plus” twenty-four degrees. As if it was going to be -24 degrees Celsius after Poland and Czech Republic have been slightly above zero over the past few legs!
Sigh. Time to look up my Aussie Dictionary once again.
Tom attempts to sweet talk his way onto the best flight by demonstrating he is a good ol country boy who removes his hat in front of a lady.
The flight is delayed by 55 minutes. It suffered from Productionitis. Every team is at the airport except Dave & Kelly.
The guy on the far right has no desire to have his face on camera.
Where are Dave & Kelly? They won’t miss out on this equalizer, right?
That’s not nice.
Renae’s wish is her command.
The other four teams board the plane from Krakow to Tel Aviv via Brussels
Dave reveals they wasted forty minutes on the road. Their flight departs at 5:00pm, and lands at 3:00am. Nearly two hours behind the other four teams.
Kelly is not impressed.
The first flight lands in Tel Aviv at 1:15am. That Jewish song plays. I don’t know what the name of it is, but in The Simpsons it is where Bart sings “Don’t have–don’t have a cow man to the tune. It’s the most recognizable Jewish jingle around.
The four teams pile into taxis.
A big ass menorah sits outside of the airport.
Matt & Tom raise the roof.
Tyler & Nathan tell their driver to go to the Israeli Towers.
I thought the Israeli Tower is the nickname for this woman when she has her hair up.
The driver asks which building they want to go to.
NATHAN: The big circle one.
How did they know what the building looked like? Did they Google it before boarding the flight?
Jeff, in a voice that doesn’t sound like his own at all, mocks Sam & Renae for appearing to tell their taxi they want to go faster.
Maybe she did so in Hebrew Sign Language.
Sam sticks her tongue out at Jeff & Luke.
“I hope my son doesn’t see this.”
The stereotypical music ends. Tyler & Nathan are first to the building. They settle their bill.
TYLER: 162? You’re kidding. We’ve only got 160.
Nathan later reveals that it is half of their money already gone. That’s one way to slightly stiff a taxi by saving yourself just over one percent of the cost of the fare.
NOTE: 162 Israeli Shekels is 57 Canadian Dollars. That’s steep.
Before the end of this episode, Nathan will need to become a gigolo or rob a train of his own to boost their funds. This is their second leg without cash.
All four teams are on separate elevators.
Who knew the boys would be the first ones to get up in an elevator.
Tyler & Nathan grab their clue. It’s a Roadblock.
The skulls in the backdrop were a cooler look for him.
Our Roadblock hint for this leg.
Not a driving force.
Neat view of the port.
For this Roadblock they must drive by train 95 kilometres north to Israel’s biggest shipping port in the city of Haifa. The team member performing the Roadblock must then rig a container truck, drive it through an obstacle course, then reverse the containers into their final loading space before they receive their next clue.
Back-back-back it up.
It is similar to TAR 7’s Double Decker Roadblock in London.
Joyce loved it.
Matt & Tom are second to the clue. Jeff & Luke are third. Sam & Renae are last.
A shirt from El Paso, Texas? Between this and Tyler’s LA Lakers shirt, these Aussies sure are Americanized.
TOM: Is it Heefa? Haifa?
RENAE: I’m feeling a bit of pressure because I am driving against four blokes.
“We’re feeling a little bit of pressure because we can’t let this chick beat us.”
It goes both ways, y’all.
Tyler & Nathan are first to the train station. They talk with this random woman at the train station about how long the ride is.
TYLER: To Hafa?
NATHAN: To Haifa.
No one can pronounce the town’s name.
Her eyes light up.
NATHAN: Do you have any spare change? Do you have any spare change for us?
WOMAN: We love you!
TYLER: Where are you from?
TYLER: Oh. No way.
I think they just want to get into her pants. . .specifically her wallet.
Matt & Tom and Jeff & Luke run down the steps to join them. Sam & Renae run. Everyone is on the train.
LUKE: Dave and Kelly were the only team we were happy to not have there at the time. The other teams don’t seem to have malicious behaviour.
Wait wait wait. What malicious behaviour? We haven’t seen any of this over the past eight episodes. Well this is intriguing.
Tyler & Nathan sit with the Israeli woman. Poor her. She will be spending the next ninety minutes being pressured to give up some shekels.
Sam is going to spend all ninety minutes perfecting Rambana.
Second flight lands at 3:00am.
Dave uses his malicious finger to hail a cab.
Dave & Kelly look like zombies in this confessional.
Dave talks about how disappointed he was to be automatically ninety minutes behind everyone else. They get a cab.
KELLY: We’re in Tel Aviv!
DAVE (sigh): Yeah. I’m excited. . .On the inside, I am excited Kel.
He is absolutely thrilled.
Dave & Kelly find the Roadblock clue. The original plan was for Kelly to do it.
KELLY: If it’s a manual, we’re screwed.
They are really really really lucky the Roadblock hint provided a clear picture of what this task would entail.
The biker gets to drive a vehicle as a task. He is happy now.
The three teams arrive in Haifa after three o’ clock in the morning. They see the sign for the port.
What a malicious equalizer.
They sleep outside in a cage on freezing cold concrete.
The team who shows up last won’t even have to sleep on the concrete.
RENAE: Do you reckon they’ll get here?
SAM: Dave drives trucks.
. . .They’re on a train.
DAVE: We thought we’d get there and it’d be all done and dust. Well that’s it. Over red-rover. We’ll see them at the finish line.
I love his Aussie-isms.
Jeff takes another shot at Dave & Kelly.
JEFF: Having Dave & Kelly not around has been quite a respite from his energy.
“He calls us names. Kelly shoved me into a puddle of mud when I wouldn’t give her my lunch money. They are always loud, especially when Dave breaks his tailbone playing ice hockey. What an obnoxious motherfucker. Can’t stand him.”
Dave & Kelly quietly sneak up on the teams in the cage. Dave asks if they are sleeping. So malicious.
KELLY: I could not believe it when I saw them all freezing to death. I feel a bit better about myself.
What an evil reaction.
The sun is up.
Tyler is instructed as to how to properly operate the vehicle. Good luck with that on major sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Tom thinks it will be easy since he has a tractor’s license. Renae is not confident at the start of this task.
That’s gonna make her feel like one of the boys.
Dave fails at hitching the truck onto the trailer.
Mr. Bean is very cold this morning. He does not like his new job.
Dave complains he took too long to hitch it.
Probably because his eyes are so malicious as he hitches the container. Just look at ’em.
Tyler points out if you are even one centimetre off then you’d hit the cone. Jeff experiences fear and self-doubt because he has rarely driven trucks.
Four hour penalty, please.
Tom has fun driving his truck.
His version of laying rubber in a parking lot.
Renae has another extended confessional about being pressured because it’s only men doing the task.
Kelly is uneasy as she watches Dave drive really fatigued during the task. Dave adds that it is like being drunk.
Although Kelly is the one that looks like she is about to hurl.
MATT (sounding like an eighty year old man who has smoked for fifty years): You got it Tommy Boy!
I wasn’t expecting a Chris Farley reference.
Holy schneikies! He shouldn’t be driving a container truck!
The gap is very small to reverse the vehicle in. Dave is annoyed because he wasn’t crushing everyone at the task. Jeff swings the wheel around too much. Luke resorts to whistling.
He is not impressed.
More whistling ensues. Renae gets nauseous as she hits the cone. Mr. Bean raises the flag. Now it is a full restart.
Billy Gaghan mocks you.
Commercial break. We resume.
Luke tries to coach Jeff but it isn’t working. Meanwhile, Tom finishes the Roadblock.
Just another day on the ranch.
Tom reads that teams must take a cab to the town of Old Japa.
Well, that just sounds offensive. I don’t know what they call their citizens.
Old Japa was referenced in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. It is inside of Tel Aviv.
Grant says it has more than four thousand years of history.
The people in this photo look like they have more than four thousand years of history too. One of them will probably win season six of Hamerotz.
Once in Old Japa, they must search for the Hasimta Theatre to find their next clue.
Matt & Tom run out of the port.
We get various split screen cuts of teams trying to complete the Roadblock.
This guy doesn’t look like Tyler. I didn’t even recognize who it was in this shot until I replayed it twice.
It’s like if Jeff swapped with Mark Lambrecht from The Mole 5 as his younger stunt double.
Jeff asks for God’s help. While he waits for him, Tyler finishes the Roadblock in second place. Jeff gets the task done in third–God did it.
Now try parallel parking.
Jeff liked this Roadblock a little too much.
Matt & Tom hail a cab. So do Tyler & Nathan. Jeff talks about the physical exhaustion and starts crying in the cab.
JEFF: I did that for me then I did that for you.
And now we present Jeff Downes Goes Fuckin’ Psycho.
It’s like he is trying to fend off a boner.
“It’s okay, dad. The camera never panned down.”
Dave completes the Roadblock in fourth place.
They can only hope.
Well, there’s no other dudes around. Maybe that pressure will be gone.
Back-back-back it up.
Sam screams when Renae finishes the task.
Renae talks about how the tasks have been ridiculously physical over the past few rounds. Cutting stuff, lifting stuff, driving stuff, smashing stuff, etc.
Dave & Kelly and Sam & Renae have cabs.
Tom says Tel Aviv is amazing because it is different from anything he has ever seen.
It’s a mad dash.
Play fair, boys.
Route Info: How Well Do You Know Your Partner?
Much like TAR 11: Real All Stars and TAR Asia 4, one team member will answer five questions about the race. Only when the other team member matches up all five answers will they receive their next clue.
That’s right. No time penalties. No individual checking one by one. You will need a complete match and will have no hints as to which ones you answered wrong.
Dave & Kelly will not be any of Jeff & Luke’s answers.
Tom and Nathan create their answers.
Tom becomes a NFL player.
I can’t see Matt & Tom gossiping about the other teams that much.
1) Which team do you envy the most? Jeff & Luke.
TOM: Their father and son relationship is a good relationship.
4) Which team is the most strategic? Tyler & Nathan.
5) Apart from your own team, which team deserves to win the most? Jeff & Luke.
TOM: They’ve always been fair.
1) Which team’s relationship do you envy the most? Jeff & Luke.
NATHAN: Because we have worked with them twice now. That’s fresh in our minds.
2) Which team would be the first to lend you a helping hand? Chris & Anastasia.
3) If the race was a foursome, which team would you pair up with? Jeff & Luke.
4) Which team is the most strategic? Richard & Joey.
NATHAN: That’s the reason we U-Turned them . . .only other one I’d be worried about is Dave & Kel is because they are the talk of the town at the moment. I think he’ll get that one.
5) Apart from your own team, which team deserves to win the most? Sam & Renae.
NATHAN: They have been so strong and are the only female-female team left.
1) Which team do you envy the most? Tyler & Nathan.
2) Which team would you be the first to lend you a helping hand? Matt & Tom.
3) If the race was a foursome, which team would you pair up with? Tyler & Nathan.
4) Which team is the most strategic? Matt & Tom.
JEFF: Luke will be thinking about the ones still in the race.
5) Apart from your own team, which team deserves to win? Tyler & Nathan.
Nathan starts doubting his answers as he thinks who Tyler would pick.
Tom reveals all five of his picks were split between two teams.
Nathan and Jeff realize this could be a while.
Or maybe not.
Although Tyler couldn’t get the easy one.
MATT: Tom and I think along the same terms fairly well. A sixth sense. Our bush instinct.
Indeed they do.
That was easy.
The celebrations continue for Tom.
It’s a Insta-Detour.
It’s beach day for Grant.
Gotta work on my tan.
His shorts are shorter than Jessica & Cody’s.
They must choose between Find Unseen or Make 13.
We get to see all of the clues today.
In Find Unseen, teams must select a metal detector and search the marked area for the key that unlocks the chest containing their next clue. However, there are dozens of keys buried in the sand. Only one will unlock the chest to their next clue.
Vin Diesel operates a waterfront metal detector shop. I guess this is what he did after The Pacifier flopped before Fast and the Furious rebooted.
It looks like R.O.B. The Robot.
Teams will need a lot of patience in a sandy haystack.
In Make 13, teams must play a traditional Israeli bat and ball game called Matkot. They must hit the ball back and forth thirteen times without letting it touch the ground before receiving their next clue.
Future Olympic sport.
“It looks like a giant waste of time.”
I know which side of the Detour Sam & Renae will be choosing.
Grant says Matkot is a sport similar to beach tennis. I get distracted by the rest of the explanation because of a dog in the background.
“I want the ball! I want the ball!”
Matt & Tom choose Make 13.
Which is also the number of children Andie put up for adoption.
Tyler is struggling with the envy question because he doesn’t envy anyone. He says it is either Matt & Tom or Sam & Renae. Woops.
Luke thinks about who is the most strategic.
“YOU THINK WE’RE THE MOST STRATEGIC YOU PANSY BOYS!!!”
Luke is not a fan of this challenge. He says the cowboys literally ran in and ran out.
Tyler puts everybody in the most strategic position thinking it would only be a team left in the race.
TYLER: You’ve got to be joking.
Man, this has really become Tyler’s catchphrase.
“You’ve got to be kidding, mate.”
It’s a good thing the judge is a big dude because Luke and Tyler are ready to knock him out like LL Cool J’s mama.
Get comfortable, boys.
LUKE: Strategic wise???
I think Luke is ready to guess Bilal & Sa’eed by this point.
Luke is really trying EVERY option possible.
Dave & Kelly are in the cab on the way to the questionnaire task.
He already covered three of the seven dwarves.
KELLY: You are grumpy.
DAVE: I know.
Renae says Dave has been really negative. Sam wants to keep her distance from him because she doesn’t want to pick up his negative energy.
Dave & Kelly are fourth to the task. Sam & Renae are last.
1) Envy? Dave & Kelly.
2) Who would lend a helping hand? Sam & Renae.
4) Which team is the most strategic? Jeff & Luke.
Nathan tells Renae that he thinks they will be good at this.
SAM: Surprisingly, we had just talked about a lot of these things.
“C’mon, gossip is like air to you women.”
Sam is reading the questions very carefully. Why she is sticking her booty out as far out as humanly possible though is beyond me. It’s the classic “Read n’ Twerk” position.
Control yourself, Jeff!
Wait, I can make this even more ridiculous. Hang on a second.
I am twelve years old.
SAM: When I stood up I read one question wrong.
Hopefully they match up -really- well on the other four to limit the variables.
SAM: I thought it was who -we- would like to help rather than who is to help us. So I thought the Big W ladies. If it was the other way around it would be Jeff & Luke.
And here I thought Luke was in trouble.
“I’m good, right?”
1) Which team do you envy the most? Tyler & Nathan.
2) Which team would you be the first to lend you a helping hand? Anne Marie & Tracy.
3) If the race was a foursome, which team would you pair up with? Tyler & Nathan.
4) Which team is the most strategic? Richard & Joey.
5) Apart from your own team, which team deserves to win? Matt & Tom.
It’s a good thing she made the other four answers really easy.
Here she comes to save the day!
Renae assumes she will get it fast.
RENAE: I couldn’t see any other way to play out the sequence.
Well then that would make the challenge too easy, Renae.
Renae gets her first rejection.
SAM: I thought I stuffed it up for us. She’s not gonna get this. I was panicking really badly. I thought we were done for.
Renae makes some strange bird call into a piece of paper.
“I hate my life right now.”
“I Schrute’d it.”
Sam puts herself for the helping hand question. Another rejection.
We go to commercial and resume.
SAM: It was quite possibly one of the most challenging challenges yet.
And -the- most challenging when you lack reading comprehension.
Dave is guessing Kel’s answers.
KELLY: He’s not gonna get it cause he thinks completely different from me.
DAVE: This could go on forever.
The four helpless racers (who are equally as helpless as those who are guessing) speculate as to how everyone will guess.
NATHAN: I don’t know if Tyler knows what strategic means.
“Should we play some Matkot to pass the time?”
Matt & Tom are already nearing the beach. Their taxi driver brags about being a good Matkot player.
“I eat pieces of matzoh like you for breakfast in Matkot!”
Jerusalem Beach gets a really good tourist ad on TAR Australia.
So many things you can do here!
“I’m an airplane!”
The bearded man on the left looks like the dad from The Ranch if he was wearing a speedo.
“If only Ronald Reagan was the president of Israel.”
What is going on here?
Matt & Tom start playing some Matkot.
Rock on, Matkot.
These guys may be ranchers but are not athletes.
A red and yellow flag in the sand–nature’s hat stand.
Meanwhile, Dave and Kelly match on Jeff & Luke being the most strategic. Kelly says they have been snake-y and are always up to something. Dave says nobody else has been more strategic than they have.
Luke struggles with who is the most strategic team (Matt & Tom). He claims his dad is a really complex thinker. He meets up with Tyler and Renae.
LUKE: Over the past couple days, my dad has really been like. . .*twirls his pen* whoa.
Everyone asks for help to understand their own partner. Perhaps this task needed to be an Intersection.
And meditates some more.
Luke says the most strategic team stumped him. He eventually puts in Matt & Tom.
Mmhmmmmm. You got it, bud.
Luke and Jeff reunite.
LUKE: Number four? Really?
JEFF: There are so many interpretations of the word strategic.
And yet Jeff’s interpretation will remain a mystery. All I see is him alternating his answers between Tyler & Nathan and Matt & Tom.
Jeff & Luke also choose to Make 13.
We see the Make 13 task info.
Matt & Tom continue having fun with Matkot.
Matt takes a nap on the ground.
It would be funny if the ball fell onto Tom’s face.
Matt & Tom complete the Detour before anybody else arrives.
Matt compliments the dud’s bod.
Matt & Tom read they must drive themselves 200 kilometres through the harsh terrain of the Judain desert to Masada–a fortress built by King Herod over 2000 years ago. A sheer cliff that overlooks the Dead Sea. It is one of the most significant historic sites in Israel.
For some reason it’s in the shape of a sailboat.
How would one describe the Dead Sea?
Grant gets to explore places that not even Phil Keoghan has yet to visit.
Matt & Tom are aware they have a huge lead on the other four teams right now.
Tyler puts together the answers correctly. He throws the sheets to the ground.
TYLER: Oh, you joking?
Stop thinking everybody is joking, Tyler.
Not everything we say is a joke, Tyler.
Tyler & Nathan are the third team to go play matkot.
Dave doesn’t envy anyone’s relationship but has yet to answer himself.
DAVE: These two chicks have a pretty good relationship.
Sam & Renae?
Yep. The team where one member ran away for ten years and have only been recently reunited have the best relationship.
Just one step above Jonathan & Victoria’s relationship a few minutes post-shove.
KELLY: This is a disaster. I think Dave smells the plot.
No, no he doesn’t.
And is it just me or is that building on the left giving us the middle finger?
Jeff & Luke are at the beach. Jeff points something out.
“Over there! That’s your real dad, Luke!”
Luke’s dad is a break dancer!
Jeff & Luke pick up the paddles. Tyler & Nathan join them. Jeff & Luke quickly rack up six shots.
TYLER: We live at Bondi and we always see these European guys in Speedos playing this bat and ball game in Bondi and we just love them. . .luckily we weren’t in Speedos.
Nathan does the worm.
Luke feels the pressure because Tyler & Nathan are there. Jeff botches the 11th hit.
Jeff starts stomping around like an ogre.
“I hate Matkot.”
Commercial break. We resume.
Jeff is frustrated because he has played lots of tennis. We cut to Jeff making fart noises when he messes up. Classy.
Real mature, Bradley.
Jeff is surprised by his own footage.
Tyler and Nathan say the task was quite difficult. We see them mess up after the first hit.
Meanwhile, more tourists gather as Dave stares at his questionnaire.
DAVE: That team deserves it.
Apart from your own team, which team most deserves to win?
Apart from Dave Miller, who deserves to win The Amazing Race Australia? Dave Miller, bitches.
It’s like when Homer Simpson says who he is three favourite people are in the world.
One of them is himself, and the other is “Commander Cool (me)”.
The third was Homer J. Simpson.
DAVE: Apart from your own team idiot, read the question.
Dave reveals he was toying with the first and last question for a long time.
DAVE: And then I thought “Hang on, Kelly. What would Kelly put? Not what you would put you gray little oaf.”
Dave folds his arms so matter-of-factly. He got this.
Well done, sir.
Get comfortable, Sam. You might be there for a while.
Once again, Dave & Kelly are saved by somebody else’s blunder. They always find a way to survive.
DAVE: Who else’s relationship can you envy?
KELLY: No one. We have the best relationship out of them.
“We’re the best, who are we kidding?”
You know who definitely doesn’t have the best relationship?
Sam & Renae once this task is over. Does Renae know Sam so well that she can figure out which question she would misread?
Renae is rejected when she puts herself for number two. Then she throws in Anne Marie & Tracy. The clue is hers.
Sam sprints up to Renae crying and hugs her.
“Anastasia isn’t here to force us to take a penalty for my mistake!”
SAM: I did one wrong. I did the second one wrong.
RENAE: I know.
Sam keeps rambling but Renae flatly tells her to keep up and move on. They get into a cab. Sam is still rambling.
Renae is not in the mood for affection.
SAM: I love you and I know that was hard. I wish you could have gone first, then I could have done it.
RENAE: Yeah. I know.
Renae is over this.
Dave & Kelly walk for information and see Sam & Renae drive by them in a taxi. Sam tries to duck in the cab, but Dave & Kelly spotted her anyway.
Mainly because Renae didn’t give a shit about being spotted.
Dave & Kelly get a cab of their own.
Luke says the shots “don’t have to have much pepper on it”.
LUKE: How about you just TAP it over to me and I’ll just TAP it back to you, and we won’t try to smash it into each other.
Super Tap Bros.
They have a rally of over fifteen hits in a row. The clue is easily theirs.
Tyler & Nathan finish shortly thereafter as Nathan dives for the thirteenth shot.
It was worth it.
Their vehicles are in a parking lot where you have to pay to get out of the lot. It is as mean as it sounds.
33 Shekels is $9.70 US.
Jeff pays the man in US Dollars.
In a game of Monopoly, Jeff is usually the banker.
The fan does nothing.
Tyler & Nathan run into bigger issues.
NATHAN: We don’t have any money!
“We bet ten bucks that we could make thirteen in under thirteen! It seemed like such an easy bet to win!”
Tyler & Nathan are left with their only financial recourse outside of being gigilos.
Charming the California Girls of Israel.
Israelis love the Aussies.
And that’s how you pay for a ticket.
Tyler smiles when he sees their phone number on the ticket.
TYLER: I don’t really know what I’m gonna do with it. I’m–she wrote good luck on it so it could be our little good luck charm.
What a fox.
Sam & Renae want to Make 13. Dave & Kelly also Make 13.
RENAE: Dave and Kelly are–
SAM: Shh, I know. Don’t worry about it.
Both teams suck at it.
Especially with that technique.
After five to ten minutes, Sam & Renae opt to switch to the other Detour.
That’s a big sandbox for just one key.
Sam & Renae have a hit. No keys. Just shekel coins.
SAM: Cool. We could use that later.
So could Tyler & Nathan. They picked the wrong Detour. Granted they wouldn’t have picked up phone numbers later, but still.
RENAE: Why can’t people pick up their rubbish?
Anything goes on Jerusalem Beach.
RENAE: We pulled up about fifty bottle tops.
SAM: We’re cleaning up Israel.
Hey, it’s free labour. They do it all of the time in TAR Canada.
Renae has a key. Sam nearly runs over with her but they quickly realize they might lose their spot.
If the key doesn’t fit, you must, uh, quit this task.
Sam joined Renae anyway. Will they remember the exact quadrant where they were in the sand?
C’mon guys. Production wouldn’t hide the right key underneath the race flag. It isn’t a hidden immunity idol–they are actually going to make this difficult!
“We want people to find the keys! That’s what the audience wants!”
Dave and Kelly still struggle with Matkot. Kelly never wants to play it again. Kelly’s sixth hit doesn’t go smoothly.
Thank god she’s landing on sand rather than ice this leg.
KELLY: It was fun, though. We were playing on the beach. There was plenty to stare at.
I think Kelly wants a couple of Matkot tutors.
JK will take up Matkot right now!
Sam & Renae continue searching for keys.
SAM: My dad found my Tiffany bracelet doing this.
Maybe today she’ll find somebody else’s Tiffany bracelet.
Sam wants to give up and lays down.
Who do you think you are?
Nick & Vicki?
RENAE: Get up, babe. C’mon. Sam, don’t show them that we roll around in the sand, man.
Yeah, like what happens when you show people you roll around in the sand, man?
You’ll be off to Never Never Land!
Kelly walks off the Matkot pitch.
DAVE: Where you going?
KELLY: I’m going to put sunscreen on!
DAVE: You want sunscreen on when you’re covered in this shit?
Hold up, bro.
Dave throws his racket at Kelly’s feet.
Babe, don’t throw.
I know you guys are hoping they do.
DAVE: Why don’t we give up and go on.
(KELLY starts crying.)
DAVE: Stop. Stop please. Your little abby actin’ is not cutting it with me. I’m struggling here. I can’t move. I’ve got nips in knees and cuts and sores.
It’s like a picnic.
If that picnic were to be with people who are sleep-deprived, injured, exhausted, sunburned, and cannot keep their emotions in check anymore.
Commercial break. We resume.
Dave & Kelly say it is like a cooperative game of tennis. They refuse to look for keys in sand.
It was probably the right decision.
Matt & Tom drive through the Israeli countryside.
Let’s see footage of Dave riding through the Israeli desert on his motorcycle.
Haha. I couldn’t resist.
MATT: I had a premonition that I dreamt that we won the next leg, but we did a rodeo circuit to win it.
He had a premonition about a dream that he won this leg? Or just a dream?
Luke hopes Matt & Tom got a little bit lost. Matt pulls out a weird accent as he drives around dangerous curves.
It’s like his Popeye voice.
Jeff & Luke are worried they are lost.
JEFF: You sure we didn’t make a wrong turn and we are in Iraq?
I am sure Grant Bowler signed up to travel around Iraq.
Luke jumps out of the corner to ask for directions to Masada. It is as if he is unsure if he is mispronouncing the town?
LUKE: Masada? Masada?
“Yo, what’s up?”
Tyler & Nathan’s assessment of Jeff & Luke’s sense of direction is correct, and they messed up. Luke says the man who looked like Rambo told them to turn around and find the M16. M16 sounds like a gun an American would carry, but in Israel it’s a highway.
Who shall be first? Not much suspense here.
Such a dominant performance. Nobody else in sight.
Matt is the first ever racer in international history to be Shalom’d on The Amazing Race.
FIRST PLACE: MATT & TOM
A pretty chill leg win celebration.
And their buddy Bing Lee sweetens the victory. I didn’t know Bing Lee was Jewish.
Matt says they haven’t been more than six metres apart for over a month and a half now. The final sequester before the race and the filming schedule is a bit more intense than the American version.
A crowd forms at Masada as they cheer on Jeff & Luke.
SECOND PLACE: JEFF & LUKE
There is no mat chat.
Just a hug that goes on for a while. . . .A long while.
GRANT: . . .Well done fellas.
And that is it.
Renae thinks she has found the correct key in the sand. Sam tries unlocking the chest. She squeals.
They have a lead over a very exhausted Dave & Kelly. If they get eliminated this leg, they only have themselves to blame.
Dave is losing his mind.
KELLY: C’mon David.
That’s when you know your wife is pissed. She uses the biblical version of your name.
Sam & Renae want to be the last females standing, but know they could be right behind them.
Dave & Kelly make thirteen.
They finally come together as a team. Kelly is confident because she has a good map. They definitely have a shot to survive yet another round of play.
Tyler & Nathan try to figure out why they aren’t at the pit stop yet.
Uh. Oh. Ain’t got no cash, ain’t got no sense of direction.
Tyler says they have driven fifty kilometres in the wrong direction.
No more smiling for Nate Dogg.
Wait a second. Didn’t you already do a U-Turn?
“YOU GONNA U-TURN US TWICE YOU PANSY BOYS?!?!?!?!”
Oh, shut the hell up, Richard & Joey.
Tyler realizes how difficult self-drive portions of the race are without a map.
Sam & Renae see the entrance for the Masada National Park. They get excited.
Beyond the Pearly Gates and you shall be accepted into the Final Four Kingdom!
RENAE: Is this Masada?
WOMAN: No. This is a dead end.
“So this isn’t The Good Place?”
Sorry. You’re in The Bad Place–also known as Last Place.
SAM: She goes “oh no no no, you need to be on the other side of this big mountain.
RENAE: So it will take me about an hour and a half.
SAM: That’s when we realized we were gone.
Even Sam’s gestures makes it look like a far distance.
Commercial break. We resume. Two teams were severely lost. Dave & Kelly could finish this leg in third. Unbelievable.
TYLER: That was such a massive stuff up.
You royally forked up, Tyler.
Yeah, you know who else would have stayed on there?
Even the White Guy. Granted he asked for directions to the 13.
Tyler & Nathan are absolutely convinced they are out. So do Sam & Renae. Kelly is convinced they are doing well with their map. She does talk about how tired her and Dave are.
KELLY: I couldn’t even keep my eyes open so I wasn’t even sure how Dave was gonna drive it.
This could be really scary for the audio and visual crew in the car if Dave does a faceplant into the steering wheel.
Zombies in Israel.
It doesn’t end for Grant, though. He is stuck with his hands on his hips for hours.
Tyler & Nathan slowly make their way to the mat.
Tyler should be eliminated for that bad hair day alone.
THIRD PLACE: TYLER & NATHAN
TYLER: You’re joking? We thought we were knocked out!
Nobody is joking, Tyler! Why do you keep insisting we are?!
Nathan is speechless for twenty minutes after hearing they made it to third.
The sun is rapidly descending. Dusk is here. No suspense as to who is last as we immediately cut to who is fourth.
And why is the pit stop in a completely different spot now? What if they changed the location of the pit stop mat while two teams were in a sprint? Could Grant pick up the mat and start jogging backwards as both teams circle him trying to hop on top of him and technically be on the mat?
Oh, and it’s Sam & Renae! What happened to Dave & Kelly’s supreme map? Surely they didn’t finish Matkot over ninety minutes behind Sam & Renae?
Sam & Renae are one hundred percent expecting to be eliminated right now.
They get Shalom’d first. Now time for Grant’s big news.
GRANT: Sam. . .Renae. . .
Sam is already crying.
GRANT: You’re team number four!
Get ready for madness, Grant.
FOURTH PLACE: SAM & RENAE
The next part is my favourite.
Renae leans in Helen Glover style from Survivor: Thailand and does an ‘Excuse Me’ look on her face.
GRANT: You. Are. Team. Number. Four.
Here come the tears.
“Pssst. We don’t want people seeing us roll around on the rocks, man. Get up Sam.”
The embrace lasts longer than Jeff & Luke’s.
Grant’s heart is warmed.
Renae’s bosom comforts Sam.
Even Renae cries.
GRANT: You okay?
Grant feels awkward.
SAM: Oh my god! I can’t handle this!
That’s just offensive, Sam. It’s good they already passed China by this point.
The sunset fades.
Where the hell are Dave & Kelly?
Ah. They both go inside for coffee. Or as they say in Israel, a “Jew Brew”.
Oh. Well I misunderstood what that was.
Dave says they pulled into a service station.
Which is obviously a McDonald’s. Probably the cheapest coffee you can find on the race. I don’t think Tyler & Nathan will be able to drive through a Starbucks.
Once Dave feels he is ready to drive, they get back in the car. When Dave is ready to pull out, something unexpected happens.
If the coffee doesn’t wake you up, this will.
I’d laugh so hard if Mai and Oliver pile out of the backseat.
Kelly doesn’t look very awake.
DAVE: What the hell is going on here?
Do they even see Grant?
Grant goes all Phantom of the Opera on them.
He tells them the other four teams have all checked in and that they have been eliminated from the race. Dave is highly disappointed that he didn’t get to finish the leg. He didn’t want to be eliminated that way. It is the hardest thing they have ever done.
But it’s still all smiles.
GRANT: I think you’ve done incredibly well.*
*Except for this leg.
Next Time on TAR: The finish line is in sight, but the strain is starting to show. As teams race through the Holy City will one crucial mistake be the end for surfers Tyler & Nathan?
Rank the Legs
1) Krakow, Poland -> Masada, Israel
TAR goes to Israel. Well, other than Hamerotz LaMillion which is the Israeli version of The Amazing Race (you smartass), but the American version hasn’t even gone to Israel after 29 seasons.
There is a sense of satisfaction to watch a version of TAR that visits a country that the US version has not dared to visit yet. TAR Australia and TAR Canada will later repeat this with Cuba.
Cuba being dismissed by TAR US is obvious. But Israel? How did Australians go there but not the Americans or Canadians?
Yes, Israel is still a very controversial country to this day, but their extremely close ties to the States makes you think that an Israel visit for TAR US would be very easy for them to do.
Like, I know TAR Asia could never go there since some of its teams would not be allowed to visit, but TAR US? How come they can’t go?
As somebody who grew up in the 90s and early 2000s, news stations filled up endless material with things happening in Israel. The Gaza Strip, the West Bank, various attacks, etc.
I know things aren’t kosher and hunky-dory with its surrounding countries there now, but it fills up a lot less of the daily news cycle than it did about ten years ago.
It was really neat to see its debut as a casual TAR location. The Australian teams expressing genuine shock they were going there, and how Tel Aviv looked like any western metropolis, and then Jerusalem Beach looking like any other ordinary beach.
It’s like “here is a regular ol’ country that just happens to be home to stuff you read in the Bible”.
Oh, that thing over there? King Herod built it.
And it gives me the chance to make a bunch of jokes that hover around the line of what is considered offensive. We all win.
The storyline of Tyler & Nathan clawing their way to survival with minimal funds since the robbery continued. They ended up with a pile of phone numbers (and rubbers) by the end of this leg.
Dave & Kelly became public enemy number one and were considered the worst thing since Hitl–er, Kevin & Ryan in TAR Canada 5 as everyone labeled them as the team that absolutely had to go home. I have no idea where that sentiment came from.
A self-drive leg to the pit stop resulted in four out of five teams getting lost on the way to the pit stop. Hell, Dave & Kelly didn’t even get to the pit stop. The only team who didn’t get lost was also the team who were already in first after the Detour. Matt & Tom ran a flawless leg as they completed every single task in the fastest time this round. Even Grant commented that they did this leg in about two seconds. Hopefully we get departure times at the start of next round.
Seeing two teams be absolutely certain they were being eliminated only to discover they were safe was fun to watch. That’s why I like self-drive legs.
Matkot was alright for a task.
Seeing the return of How Well You Know Your Partner task was refreshing. Particularly because Sam misread a question and nearly royally screwed Renae. Thank god Renae knew all of the other answers with certainty.
Jeff acting like a maniac for half of the episode was also a surprise.
Israel being a location automatically shot it high up in these standings regardless of the production design or editing this leg–everything else was just icing on the cake.
2) 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?
3) 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 (as a reader pointed out, TAR Asia 1 and TAR Asia 2 had done this before). 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.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) Zimni, Czech Republic -> Niedzica, Poland
Despite it being a To Be Continued round, there wasn’t an equalizer that resulted in all six teams being forced together at the start of the day. Yes, the gap narrowed at the salt mine, but it wasn’t enough to make Dave & Kelly and Matt & Tom be on an equal playing field with the other teams.
Tyler & Nathan being robbed on the train is one of the most shocking moments in TAR history. James & Abba will suffer a worse fate just over a year after this season airs, but James & Abba weren’t the extreme frontrunners like Tyler & Nathan had been all season long. It would be like if Colin & Christie lost their passports at the end of the tenth leg of TAR 5–the strongest team being taken out in the unluckiest way possible.
Thanks to it being a self-drive leg and having many allies, Tyler & Nathan mounted a comeback and nearly won this round. If you had any doubts they were going to win this season, they were certainly removed after this round of play.
Surprisingly, none of the tasks in Poland referenced World War II like they did during TAR 11: Real All Stars’ visit. It’s just castles, salt mines, and views of the lakes and mountains.
The salt mine task was a bit too much of a needle in the haystack for me. The crypt was cool, though. And Nathan nearly damaging the equipment was amusing as well as Matt being forced to damage his own equipment thanks to the tight overalls.
Dave & Kelly continuing to pile on fatigue and physical injury was amusing. Every time they beat Matt & Tom on navigation and how pissed Matt & Tom were also added a dash of hilarity to the episode.
The Detour, where it was so lopsided that everyone chose the sheep anyway, was full of funny moments. Renae lifting up fat sheep, sheep escaping through every pole or hole possible, and the cute little way they all run away from the contestants had me laughing. It was also a fun task to watch.
It was painful to see the Intersection be the last task before the pit stop. I know it wasn’t the shortest drive in the world, but nearly everyone checked into the pit stop in pairs.
Now for the Intersection task itself–the TAR Asia 4 woodcutting challenge on steroids. The log was three times as high, and the tools used required A LOT of physical strength. Was it too unfair to the group that had three women and only one man? That’s up for debate. Can you imagine if Charla & Mirna had to do this task?
There was hope for Chris, Anastasia, Sam, and Renae when Sam & Renae made it through their first cut, but Anastasia’s lack of strength made it clear that the lead they had since the previous round was going to be sacrificed. At least there was suspense if Kelly had enough in her to complete this challenge. The editors had me wondering because of what happened with Anne-Marie & Tracey and Mo & Mos at the zodiac challenge earlier in the season.
But Anastasia was the only one who couldn’t do it. The four hour penalty was assessed, and Sam & Renae were caught in friendly fire as they had a two hour penalty dumped on them. I think Sam & Renae should not have received a penalty at all because they weren’t allowed the chance to prove they could make the second cut.
Jeff & Luke finally nab their first victory of the season. It was well-earned as this was Jeff & Luke’s most entertaining episode to date. What time is it, old man?
It would be interesting to see how social media would have reacted to Chris & Anastasia if social media platforms were as big in 2011 as they were now. Something tells me Chris would have had a much tougher time dealing with the public reaction.
Overall, this was a solid round but too much TAR Asia copying, an oddly placed Intersection, a Detour where one option was extremely unappealing, and a luck-based challenge drops it in the rankings.
7) 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.
8) 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.
9) 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) Dave Miller & Kelly Miller
Middle-aged couples have a tendency to fall under very limited categories on The Amazing Race:
a) We’re the “older” couple! Don’t you love us?
b) We’re the couple from the Deep South! My cousin is married to my friend’s pig Wilbur! All ten of us slept in the same house while the pig got the top bunk!
Dave & Kelly are a team that you could find anywhere. Whether it be Australia, Canada, or the United States, they are such a common team. Dave reminds me of my dad so much.
The random over-exaggerations when he is playing with people, constantly being a happy person but if he doesn’t get enough sleep then he turns into a big grump, and he used to own a motorcycle.
When you saw Kelly with the pink hair, you thought the producers were casting somebody under forty who was going to be craaaazy. But nope. Kelly is just a person who likes to have pink hair.
She had some funny quips in confessionals, she does a brilliant job of making fun of Dave on multiple occasions, and was definitely the true intelligence of the team.
I also loved how much they used their country’s slang. No other team forced me to tackle Urban Dictionary so much during TAR Australia or Australian Survivor.
One of their first scenes is talking about how Chris is going to be a complete jackass on the race. Guess what happens? Chris turns into a complete jackass!
Dave & Kelly were portrayed as the good guys for such a long time during the race. They didn’t really deceive anyone until the infamous bridge in Prague when their asses were on the line, and also because it was closing in on the freakin’ endgame.
They never betrayed their allies and frequently cooperated with other teams. Hell, Dave took the news well when Alana & Mel revealed they stalled the Intersection due to a bathroom break.
Here’s what doesn’t make sense: Their final episode.
Their villain edit comes out of left field. Everyone else says they were villainous and were backstabbers but no footage is shown to support that for the whole episode. Furthermore, they bury Dave as this negative force but that doesn’t come out until the guy hasn’t slept for over 24 hours and is miserable at four o’ clock in the morning on a train. In fact, Dave acknowledges how grumpy is in the last episode. Where were the other eight episodes of him being a grumpy butt? It doesn’t exist. Even when Grant eliminates them he is smiling and laughing.
Dave & Kelly were so exhausted in their final leg that they pulled over and took caffeine pills just to have a shot at making it to Masada. Kelly even stated how worried she was about Dave not falling asleep at the wheel. That’s how little was in their gas tank for this episode.
Can somebody link me to an interview that reveals Dave & Kelly were miserable and deceitful racers that everyone hated? Because I just don’t get this portrayal at all in their last episode.
So, remember this:
Dave & Kelly were an original casting choice.
Dave & Kelly were charming for the viewers.
They liked to injure themselves by accident.
They are the masters of Aussie slang.
They are hilarious and entertaining.
And most of all: They nearly finished in their rightful position. Their average for the season is 4.1, and it is only fitting they were eliminated just shy of fourth place. If only production didn’t force Dave and Kelly to stop to buy a coffee for their own personal safety.
4) 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.
5) Chris Pselletes & Anastasia Drimousis
I SAID RATE US HIGHER. . .AND I MEANT IT!
I will be honest–you could make a case to shift Chris & Anastasia elsewhere in these rankings and I would agree.
Some teams bicker and it feels like it is a front for the cameras to get airtime.
For Chris & Anastasia? The bickering was authentic because the words and phrases that came out of their mouths were so absurd. They had two major blowups that every fan of this season can clearly remember. It’s the principle of the thing.
In Psychology, we learn about romantic relationships that are divided into two categories: Companionship and intense romances.
Chris & Anastasia are definitely the latter. One moment they are shouting at the top of their lungs in anger and the next you would think they are the most loving couple in the whole race.
Rather than Dave & Kelly who spend the whole season dissing each other for bad driving or bad map reading.
Muscles and Bambi’s reputation improves by the end of the season. Dave no longer feels compelled to flip off Chris by the eighth leg of the season. Teams willingly ally with Chris & Anastasia without mentioning how volatile of a couple they can be on the race.
Either I am living in the 1920s, or Chris & Anastasia may be one of the nuttiest couples to ever run the race.
And yes, I meant it.
P.S. They broke up before the episodes started airing on TV. Shocking, I know!
6) 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.
7) 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.
4th Jess & Lani 4.3 TAR Asia 4
4th Kisha & Jen 4.27 Saved by NEL once, U-Turned once TAR 14
3rd Brian & Ericka 4.25 saved by NEL once TAR 15
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF TAR 2
3rd Ray & Yolanda 4.23 saved by NEL once TAR 9
5th Gary & Matt 4.22 saved by NEL once and c—blocked once in Saunabuss TAR 15
3rd Nicolas & Donald 4.18 FF and U-Turned TAR 12
4th Linda & Karen 4.17 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
3rd Charla & Mirna All Stars 4.15 TAR 11
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.) TAR 2
5th Paolo Family 4.13 FF and Used Yield TAR 8
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11 TAR 7
5th Dave & Kelly 4.10 TAR Australia 1
5th Andy & Laura 4.00 – Yielded TAR Asia 1
5th Carol & Brandy 4.00 – U-Turned. May or May Not Be Mean. TAR 16
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF, saved by NEL, grew goatees TAR 4
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 2
2nd Jaime & Cara 3.92 TAR 14