Episode Blog #284
INDONESIA – VIETNAM – CHINA – SOUTH AFRICA – THE NETHERLANDS – CZECH REPUBLIC – POLAND – ISRAEL – SRI LANKA – SINGAPORE – AUSTRALIA
Previously on TAR Australia: Four teams raced through the Holy City where Surfers Tyler & Nathan started to feel the strain. Models Sam & Renae were last to the pit stop but were given a reprieve.
Tonight, the Final Four teams run a tight race in a sprint towards the finale but in the battle for a quarter of a million dollars, which team won’t make it into the final leg?
Grant introduces us to Jerusalem. The capital of Israel and was established over five thousand years ago. It is one of the most important religious sites in the world for Muslims, Christians, Jews, and probably at least a few other religions except Mormonism.
Cool top hat.
Just in case you forgot after eleven episodes, that’s Grant Bowler.
The next task should be that teams have to try and sneak into the Dome of the Rock.
Matt & Tom, who arrived first at 1:14pm, will depart at 1:14am.
Matt opens the clue but pauses before trying to pronounce the name of their next destination. Tom has to jump in for him. It’s an airport in Sri Lanka.
C’mon Matt. It’s just a basic Sri Lankan word which likely has thirty letters strung together. You mean you can’t say it all in one go?
It’s Bandaranaike Airport in Sri Lanka. Once there they must fund Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo. Hey, those were shorter words than I was expecting.
That plane is heading straight back in the direction of Australia. It appears that the Americas will not be acknowledged in TAR Australia just like how it has never been acknowledged in TAR Asia.
Whenever TAR US visits Sri Lanka, it’s in two of their shittiest seasons ever. Hopefully TAR Australia’s visit is more like TAR Asia 4.
Once in Sri Lanka, teams will head to the Buddhist Gangaramaya Temple where they will receive a blessing and their next clue.
Leslie takes the four hour penalty.
For a second I thought that was hair sticking up on top of his head.
A blessing is also known as “a monk who repeatedly pretends to throw a flower at your face but never follows through with it.”
That monk is camera shy.
Matt & Tom hire a cab.
Matt doesn’t want to look as the taxi driver shows off his new dance moves.
Matt & Tom talk about how they never expected to make it this far and are surprised to have won the last two legs in a row.
Tom sticks his tongue out at the naysayers.
MATT: We thought ‘oh bugger, we’ve made it this far. We may as well get to the top three.
Yeah, you’re eleven legs in. I guess you could put in a little bit of effort to make it there.
Tom asks the driver where Sri Lanka is located.
TOM: Sri Lanka is near Pakistan. It’s in Asia.
What a fool.
MATT: It’s near India you fool!
Yeah, what I said.
“Maybe I should be a geography teacher.”
“And you the douche cowboy.”
DRIVER: I feel good for Australia.
As do we.
TOM: I feel pretty good about this leg. We think we could win it.
“Just as long as the final challenge isn’t a jigsaw puzzle of every country we have visited.”
Tom asks the driver how much it costs to drive to Tel Aviv.
Why does every driver say that? Somebody is lying.
And I think it might be him.
Jeff & Luke commence in second at 1:32am. Jeff was not expecting Sri Lanka.
“What’s next? Iraq?”
Luke comments with the phrase “sharp end of the race” yet again and thinks his team is tracking really well to make it to the end of the race.
JEFF: I have always wanted to go there. It’s like an extension of India
It’s tough to listen to Jeff when he is going full on ascot today.
JEFF: And they have auto rickshaws.
Yes they do. Screw that rock or some of those cool temples. Everyone books their vacation to Sri Lanka to hang out on auto-rickshaws.
Tyler & Nathan are third to depart at 1:46am. Matt & Tom gave up most of their lead in the last leg, surprisingly. I say that because the edit last round made it look like Tyler & Nathan really struggled, when in reality they beat Matt & Tom by nearly an hour.
NATHAN: Final Three is everything for me. After that I don’t even care. You’ve accomplished everything The Amazing Race has thrown at you. That’s such an achievement.
Yes, you accomplish everything. . .except winning.
Sam & Renae depart last at 1:52am.
RENAE: We are two gutsy gutsy chicks and there is something in us that wants us to get across that line and it gets us there every time.
They are wearing all black because they want to host somebody else’s funeral today.
Renae searches for Sri Lanka on the map. Sam does her trademark squeal when she realizes it’s not that far away. Just a few thousand kilometres, but whatever.
The world according to Cathay Pacific.
I forgot how long Renae’s arms are.
Matt & Tom are at the airport.
A hug so strong it’ll knock your hats off.
Matt & Tom and Jeff & Luke approach the counter together.
But first, look at his watch.
Matt stares at the man’s watch as if it were a bagel.
6:00am flight to Rom which arrives there at 9:20. It connects to Colombo at 10:40am and gets in at midnight. The connection is just one hour and twenty minutes.
Tyler & Nathan are told about the same flight at another counter.
Should they attempt this connection?
Jeff & Luke and Matt & Tom’s agent doesn’t think so. Jeff says there is no point getting there in the middle of the night because it’ll be an equalizer.
“And then we’ll be bored there. Nobody wants to be bored watching something, right? I know all about that.”
Tyler & Nathan’s agent disagrees.
Two completely different pitches.
Tyler & Nathan book the Rome flight.
“I make ten percent commission on each sale!”
Jeff & Luke find out about a Tel Aviv – Amman, Jordan – Colombo flight. The flight to Jordan has a layover of over six hours. What happens if your layover is so damn long that you don’t get to Colombo until after dawn?
A hotel?! Man, some of those Middle Eastern countries are so damn wealthy.
Luke can spend those six hours practicing how to suction a pen to the top of his mouth.
Can they make the connection?
How slow does he expect airport connections to be?! Nah, just kidding. That’s just the screencap from before.
The flight arrives in Colombo at 5:10am. Jeff is convinced nothing will be open when they get into Colombo anyway.
LUKE: Probably not until six o’ clock.
“Or eight o’ clock if Sam & Renae ask my dad.”
Both teams book the tickets.
They have really backed off on advertising the credit card over the past few legs. They don’t even zoom in on it to indicate the company on the card. Did they only agree to be advertised in the first six or seven episodes of the season?
Sam & Renae get to the airport.
The get the anti-Italian ticketing agent.
Sam asks if other teams came by and when they bought their tickets.
“A really long time ago–your slow asses sure took your sweet time getting here!”
The agent is done dealing with Aussies. He just wants to cut himself and get this over with already.
Renae seems worried.
The agent plays with his nose as Renae continues her plea.
Sam’s words are exactly what the agent is thinking in his head about his life at the moment.
Renae keeps begging.
“And I was the one who bought the last ticket for myself. Maybe -I- want to go to Sri Lanka!”
Yep. Just one of those things, guys.
Renae is not handling this rejection well.
“Must go to Happy Place.”
I don’t know why, but the travel agent has to pretend that he is putting a lot of effort into looking up a new flight. The man rediscovers the Rome flight.
Somehow the layover has shrunk from one hour and fifteen to just one hour. As somebody who has connected through international flights, even with just carry-on one hour is barely enough time.
Yes, very dodgy for a number of reasons:
a) It’s just one freakin’ hour to connect in Rome
b) If they knew Tyler & Nathan were alone on the Rome flight, Sam & Renae should most definitely book the Jordan flight.
Why? Because if Tyler & Nathan don’t make the narrow window for connection, they are absolutely screwed. Sam & Renae’s penalty could be two or three or six hours and they would still probably survive the leg.
c) If Sam & Renae book the same flight with Tyler & Nathan, they need to make the connection or else they have a very high chance of going home this round.
Which I’m sure is going through their head right now.
Sam loves to live dangerously.
Renae not so much.
Jeff & Luke and Matt & Tom ask about Tyler & Nathan’s flight. Where are you going, Tyler?
“Or Bombay. One of those two cities.”
Hmmmm. . .
Justin doesn’t quite believe him.
Tom would be more skeptical if he knew what a Mumbai is.
Tom pretends the water bottle is a microphone.
The three teams break off after the interrogation.
Tyler & Nathan’s alliance with Jeff & Luke is officially over.
NATHAN: They say “Mumbai is a good airport, have fun there”. We’re getting in over five hours before you but that’s alright.
Provided you make the connection.
Sam & Renae are told this flight is their only choice. Apparently the Jordan flight has to be full.
That agent has the look of somebody who feels they should save Grant the trouble and eliminate them right on the spot.
Sam is using telepathy to communicate with the Rome airport to create a longer layover.
Sam & Renae take the flight. Being on the other flight with what they assume will be all other teams is too big of a risk because it will force them to win the round by a minimum of thirty minutes.
Sam gives Renae a quick pep talk to decrease her anxiety.
Who do they see waiting at the gate for them?
Both teams receive the biggest unintentional insurance policy in TAR history.
And now Tyler has a back injury. Sam & Renae’s advantage just got bigger!
Sam spares Tyler further back pain.
We see the map for Tyler & Nathan and Sam & Renae’s flight.
Maybe your layover would be a bit longer if you weren’t flying in the opposite direction of your destination!
That is one really really really long ribbon.
Jeff & Luke and Matt & Tom board their flight.
It looks like it is going to be Spring Break on the airplane any second now.
The travel distance is so small that the majority of the journey is traveling vertical rather than horizontal.
The Golden Tulip is Bing Lee’s car of choice.
So we’re just gonna chill at the hotel, eh?
“Yeah, they’ll be stuck eating lots of curry or something.”
I love how casual the background music is. It’s like a goofy Victorian comedy.
The rush is on.
It’s the next flight! Tyler & Nathan need to hang onto their cash and Sam & Renae need to avoid being Marked for Elimination!
“Want to go for a dip, boys?”
Watching Jeff & Luke get a sun tan is one of their more interesting scenes this season.
“All I need is some chewing tobacco and I’d be all set, I’d reckon.”
MATT: We’re at the Golden Tulip Hotel just waiting by the pool for our flight to fly out this evening. Pretty sure everyone else is at Mumbai airport waiting in there to get in a whole fifteen minutes before us.
(Chorus of laughter ensues.)
But it may very well be Sam & Renae laughing in just a few minutes.
We get a random shot of an Israeli plane.
Tyler & Nathan are stuck waiting for the next train.
If they miss the train, they can just do a Detour of their own to the Coliseum.
We are about to see if Sam & Renae’s race is over when–
Matt goes in for a dip.
Pew pew pew!
Which is as exciting as to find out that Sam & Renae made their flight!
Tyler is excited to see them make the flight as Nate’s adrenaline is already zapped and MY GOD THAT WOMAN BEHIND TYLER IS FREAKING ME THE FUCK OUT!
Sam & Renae and Tyler & Nathan land in Colombo. They are not moving as fast out of the airport. The second flight doesn’t get in until 4:55am.
The zombie horde is here.
The Golden Tulip sounds nice right about now.
Sam has to pay really close attention to internalize what Renae is saying.
Well that’s a continuity error if I’ve ever seen one.
It’s done, son.
Tyler & Nathan grab the second slot for the temple. Unfortunately it is raining outside and both teams can’t really afford a hotel until morning. So. . .
Marked for Insomniation.
It’s like a pack of stray cats on the street.
Tyler says that was the worst night of being on TAR ever.
Except for all twenty nights of filming this.
What a fancy hotel.
Matt says he would rather be well-rested and slightly behind than to be tired as hell and jumping from plane to plane.
I am about 150 to 200 percent certain that the woman behind Tom is going to be pinching his butt as she walks to her seat.
The plane begins its journey to Colombo.
In Colombo, it is officially morning.
So happy to be in first.
TYLER: It’s probably the worst we have felt along this race.
Did you enjoy your accommodations, guys?
I can only imagine how much more miserable they will be when they see the footage of The Golden Tulip.
For some reason, Buddhist monks don’t want you walking in there with really wet socks and shoes.
Friendship bracelets! The Buddhist monk and Sam are now BFFs!
That monk looks very awake. I have a feeling the odour emitting from Sam & Renae is probably worse than most of the stray animals that the monks care for outside of their temple.
Look at the arc on that flower shower! I think that monk could be a basketball player!
He has a future in hosting all Mario Party 5 mini games.
NATHAN: We were hoping the pit stop was the next clue.
Again, you aren’t playing in TAR 24.
It’s a Detour. Count or Carry.
I love how casual that elephant is as Sam & Renae read their clue.
Yep, prepare for a lot of TAR Asia 4 Sri Lanka overlap this round.
Grant is following in Allan’s footsteps.
In Count, teams must correctly count the number of fish in a crate in the middle of this busy fish market before they’ll receive their next clue.
The Sri Lankan local language is beautiful.
Something tells me that guy never messes up a fish count.
That’s a busy fish market. Good luck hearing yourself count in there.
Tiny fish for a big crate? This is definitely not the task for Sam & Renae and Tyler & Nathan to do when heavily sleep-deprived and exhausted.
I think you’ll be hanging onto that clue, buddy.
In Carry, teams must use a wooden trolley to deliver fifteen unbroken blocks of ice within the market to stall number sixty-three before receiving their next clue.
Is it just me or do half of those letters in the local language look the same?
(NOTE: The local language is Sinhala.)
Is it just me or does the first letter look like a ninja that is standing up with its eyes closed?
I wonder what is next door in stall sixty-four?
Probably one of these.
That’s mad ice.
The man handing out the clue in a rock band shirt and a Miami Heat hat may be the type who wants to have fifteen blocks of ice to spoil his baby girl.
Both teams choose to Carry while sounding like zombies.
I bet Bobby McFerrin would sell a lot of records in this fish market.
“Here’s a little royalty scheme I wrote, I’m going to have Logan present it to the Sri Lankan people note for note. . .”
Tyler & Nathan and Sam & Renae enter the fish market simultaneously. The ice blocks are very cold and slippery.
I envy those green boots.
What the hell is up with Nathan?
This is still going to be ten times easier than counting fish.
The guy may not give Tyler the clue when he sees his LA Lakers hat.
The Surfer Train is coming through.
Nathan feels like Jeff & Luke reading that map right now.
The stall is actually W63.
Which means the market is huge if we’re seeing R77.
Sam & Renae both start shouting W63.
Renae is nearly taken out by the basket to her right.
Sam motions for the market to make way for Renae’s ice.
SAM: It’s a very big smelly busy bloody sharky squidy pruny fishy market. Blahauihihjkhsfar. It was gross.
Sam is not a fan.
She will not be attending a Miami Marlins or a Tampa Bay Rays game in the future.
It’s like an aquatic genocide in this market.
How is that staying in the basket?!
Meanwhile, Matt & Tom and Jeff & Luke land in Colombo.
Just one more thing: Jeff really was expecting to see Peter Falk greet him in the airport, I bet.
Matt trades in his chewing tobacco for a piece of gum. Tom doesn’t know if it is a one-way or a two-way street based on the insane traffic. They speculate on where the other two teams are.
And his question has been answered.
We head to a commercial break then resume.
Tyler & Nathan and Sam & Renae make their way through the market.
I can’t help but notice this is a male-dominated fish market.
This man tries to start a chorus of applause. He is alone. This screenshot alone has nearly one hundred men in the picture with Sam.
Sam & Renae find W63 seconds before Tyler & Nathan.
Teams even have their own assigned stall within W63 as we can see by their team pictures.
SAM: We just made sure we kept up with The Surfers the entire time.
I think this is the first time anybody has referred to Tyler & Nathan as “The Surfers” in a very long time.
Tyler & Nathan think Sam & Renae are a strong team that goes a bit under the radar.
Sam & Renae gather more blocks.
I wonder which stall in the market belongs to Natalie & Nadiya’s uncle and cousin?
SAM: I know the way.
RENAE: No, no you don’t know.
I don’t know how, but Renae’s pants are covered in the substance that is on the blocks of ice. If she really did sit on the block of ice, then she is LITERALLY freezing her ass off.
SAM: If the guys can do this challenge, then we can figure we can do it just as good.
RENAE: Sometimes even better.
Unless it’s Zodiac symbols.
Those ice blocks are not light.
Sam is now legally blind.
The chorus of applause increases as Tyler & Nathan and Sam & Renae come through.
Both teams read that they must head to the train station and travel by train to Galle.
SAM: Travel by train to Golly.
Golly, let’s go Speedy!
Grant says teams must make their way to Fort Railway Station and purchase third class tickets for the train to Galle.
Third class? How much better can the first two classes be? And what would fourth class be? Sleeping outside of a temple?
And yes, the TAR Asia 4 route of going from Colombo to Galle by train is being copied.
In fact, this is what has been copied thus far:
Monk’s blessing at a temple.
Count It or Carry It (today it was Count or Carry).
Train ride from Colombo to Galle.
Once in Galle, they must travel to the historic Gold Fort to find their next clue.
I guess Galle is an attractive location when there is a lot of rich scenery there.
Jeff & Luke receive their clue in third place.
And their socks were dry enough to be allowed entry.
We get a glimpse of the Detour clue.
And a happy elephant.
Matt & Tom enter the ceremony alone.
Tom looks like he is preparing to be knighted.
Both teams choose to Carry.
Tyler & Nathan and Sam & Renae book their tickets. It’s another hour until the train departs.
This is the quietest place in all of Colombo.
The two teams think about how long it would take for the other two teams to catch up. Renae estimates they are trailing by two and a quarter hours.
She can only hope.
Tyler concludes there won’t be enough time.
Matt & Tom are at the fish market. Matt is startled by a bird.
I think that’s what we call an omen.
Tom complains of the market smelling like stinky fish.
Let’s just say they won’t be pescatarians.
Jeff & Luke are last to the market. Matt is simultaneously pushing and humping the cart.
Push it real good!
Jeff likes seafood, but says it isn’t the place where you would want to stop for “a quick slice of sushi”.
A quick of slice of sushi? It’s not pizza, Jeff.
Jeff would rather eat his orange boots before eating any fish at this market.
Tom says being tied with Jeff & Luke has motivated them to try and complete the task faster.
I thought being able to stop wearing the world’s ugliest boots would be enough motivation to complete this task quickly.
Renae says the next train will not depart for two hours after their current train. They have twenty-five minutes before the first train embarks.
RENAE: Fingers crossed.
Renae is rockin’ the crossed fingers.
She made the Final Four, ladies and gentlemen.
Jeff & Luke are trying to go hard at the Detour too. Jeff warns Luke about the angles of the cart. Matt & Tom complete the task in third.
MATT: Take the train to Golly.
Golly, Oh! or Oh, Golly!?
Matt & Tom are digging the auto-rickshaw.
Even when it is nearly flooding the streets.
Nathan pulls out a Popeye voice as he insults Matt & Tom at the train station.
Nope, no wretched cowboys to be found this season.
Tom is corrected on the town name when he gets to the train station. They buy the tickets and join Tyler & Nathan and Sam & Renae. Sam & Renae are very disappointed.
TYLER: You’re kidding.
Tyler can’t go very long before uttering his catchphrase.
Sam’s face has non-verbal curse words written all over it.
Renae is resisting the urge to flip them off.
“What makes you think we are wretched, mate?”
Matt & Tom feel about as welcomed at the train station as the LGBT community having dinner at Jet & Cord’s house.
Jeff & Luke are not very happy as their driver has to stop for petrol (or as we like to say in Canada, “gas”.)
A gas company in Sri Lanka is called Lanka?
It would be like if we had a gas company in Canada called Nada. When your tank is empty, go to Nada!
“The tank is actually full. I am just trolling him.”
“Son of a bitch.”
Commercial break. We resume.
JEFF: It was a blow.
Better than a suck.
The driver has finished filling up. Jeff is adamant for him to go.
JEFF: Go go go go.
EVERYONE ELSE: Go go go go.
Jeff & Luke are at the second class counter when they ask for third class tickets.
LUKE: Dad just said let’s buy the tickets and just get on the train.
Jeff & Luke:
The only team that have to pay off somebody to be viewed as second class rather than a third class team on The Amazing Race.
LUKE: We didn’t realize we were actually in second class ticket sales.
When we’re in a hurry, looking up is the last thing on your mind. Even if there is a gigantic ‘2’ above your head.
LUKE: I’m not arguing.
JEFF: I’m not arguing with you. I’m talking about him.
Jeff & Luke buy the tickets as it is the only way to make the train.
They made the train but at what cost?
They are on the lookout.
Second class tickets doesn’t even get you a seat.
The man sitting next to Nathan must be really confused as to what they’re talking about. He must be uneasy.
The train departs the station.
Sam is worn out. All of that hard work making the connecting flight, landing in the middle of the night, and sleeping outside in the pouring rain was all for nothing.
Renae feels the same way.
As do Tobias and George Michael.
TOM: The girls pretty much passed out sitting up. They didn’t look too well at all. They chose that plane so you can’t feel too sorry for them.
But it was their only play with their current penalty. . .
It’s like me while riding the bus to university before a mid-term.
Tyler says being tied pushes them to win more.
Although being tied AND functioning on full rest would be nice.
A backflipping monkey? Awesome!
LUKE: When we got to Galle, we realized we got the wrong ticket for the train.
Which is better than being two hours behind if they opted to not get on the train at all. Jeff & Luke’s semi-intentional breaking of the rules was the wise decision here.
The other three teams get into auto rickshaws.
Tyler & Nathan are first to the clue box.
ROUTE INFO: Can You Unlock The Past?
Yep. Another TAR Asia 4 copycat challenge.
Even the one question is the exact same!
At least this question is new.
Once both questions are answered, they will receive their next clue.
Sam & Renae are second to the clue box. Matt & Tom are obviously third.
A local tells Tyler & Nathan independence was 1948. Sam & Renae receive the same information from somebody else.
I swear the chests are in the same location as TAR Asia 4, and I hate those lotto numbers.
The locals aren’t absolute morons as 1948 is correct.
Matt & Tom ask two locals when independence was.
MAN: Uh. . .1942 or something.
“To be honest, I spent most of my time in high school smoking weed and going out to bush parties.”
These guys don’t even bother answering Matt & Tom’s question.
Somebody else rescues Matt & Tom with the right answer.
“What’s in here? A new hat?”
Jeff & Luke look like they are posing for a photo in the 1800s.
Your time isn’t up yet, boys! Stay still!
And away they go.
Sam & Renae are asking a bunch of people (okay, all men) what year the Sri Lankan daddy was born.
I like how a bunch of locals are randomly standing on that ledge.
MAN (out of nowhere): Thirteenth of April!
SAM: We’re looking for the year.
“Thirteenth of April. It’s the perfect date for a light jacket.”
I think the man is just referencing Miss Congeniality rather than Sri Lankan history.
Jeff & Luke are last to the clue box. No petrol stop this time.
Sam & Renae’s camera guy tries to run out of the shot.
Matt & Tom are the easiest game of Where’s Wally? ever.
One local tells Sam & Renae it is 1844, 1848, or 1884.
Tyler & Nathan ask a local to use his Phone a Friend.
This is right on the cusp of the smartphone explosion. Starting with TAR 19, you’re going to see questions like this be really really easy.
TYLER: Did he know?
“Just some bitch named Latika picked up the phone. Waste of my fucking minutes.”
NATHAN: It was like the birthdate of an old king or something.
That’s Nathan’s “I don’t give a shit” face. If only he grew up in the slums, he would be able to connect this answer to something from his past.
Tyler & Nathan ask another who does have a smartphone. 1884 it is. Tyler asks him not to tell anyone else.
“If you do, I will find you.”
Jeff & Luke quickly discover when independence was achieved. Tyler & Nathan are first to complete the task.
NATHAN: This is your chance to save face. Travel by bus to Ambalangoda Train Station and search for the mask stall.
DSIs everywhere. I didn’t know Nintendo was popular here.
This looks familiar.
Grant says they must go the mask stall vendor, memorize a photo of a mask, and search amongst hundreds of performers at a nearby street festival for the one that matches the photo.
That person’s head must hurt.
What is that even supposed to be? It looks like a distorted Krusty the Klown.
NOTE: Taking a bus from Galle to Ambalangoda Train Station and finding the Mask Stall Vendor in Ambalangoda was the exact sequence in TAR Asia 4 as well.
Sam & Renae are second to open the clue. Both teams hire an auto rickshaw. Being well-rested did nothing for the other two teams.
Matt & Tom are third to open the chest. Into an auto-rickshaw they go. Matt isn’t as enthusiastic about them anymore.
Sam & Renae are first to stop a bus. Tyler & Nathan are seconds behind them. I don’t know how Sam & Renae passed them that quickly.
Renae says it is good to have allies to ensure you have a spot in the top three. So much for all alliances being out the window. People still want to align with Tyler & Nathan all the way to the finale.
Renae is not a fan of the accommodations on this bus.
Tyler snagged that last seat.
Meanwhile, Jeff & Luke are on a ledge asking a local for help.
Jeff & Luke initially hear 1984, but the guy corrects him that it is 1884.
The father of Sri Lanka is not fond of Room 101.
Jeff & Luke have the clue. They are on the same bus with Matt & Tom.
Sam & Renae and Tyler & Nathan can’t help themselves but to repeatedly kick their asses this round.
Tyler & Nathan and Sam & Renae claim their masks. Tyler picks the most unique mask.
They run out into the street.
That drummer is just given’r.
That’s just racist, Tyler.
Not as easy as they thought it would be.
Jeff & Luke and Matt & Tom’s bus arrives. Jeff gets frustrated with the locals as he wants to know where the mask shop is.
It’s like he is conjuring a fireball.
LUKE: We were the team that foolishly recruited another handy local.
Foolishly? Typically it is the smartest strategy, but it’s funny that it blows up for Jeff & Luke.
The local takes Jeff & Luke to a place where he doesn’t make a very good first one on them.
Sam & Renae think they have identified theirs.
ITS. NOT IT’S. Stupid subtitlers.
Renae can’t help but stare at its tongue and note its matching roundness.
Shakira isn’t the only one with an oral fixation.
“You want me to run with both of you? I’m only wearing a ten pound snakeskin on my head.”
Sam & Renae’s choice is correct.
“Can I go back and dance now?”
That guy in the green looks really tall.
The elderly monkey costume cracks me up.
Tyler & Nathan also have their clue. It’s an Instant Roadblock.
ROADBLOCK HINT: Who can reap what they sew?
Oh no. Are you kidding me?
What’s with Sri Lanka and sewing on The Amazing Race?
TAR Asia 4, TAR Australia 1, and TAR 24 are the three English language TAR visits to Sri Lanka in a row and ALL have a sewing task in a factory.
TAR 6 is the only English language visit to Sri Lanka that didn’t have a sewing challenge.
If you’re wondering where all of your CBS clothing comes from, here’s your answer.
And it’s the same goddamn building used in TAR Asia 4 and TAR 24. Every single fucking time.
I never thought Macau Tower would have to battle it out with Trendy Connections in Colombo as the most visited route marker in TAR history.
NOTE: In high school, I had straight A’s in almost every course. I never failed a course except for one–The three weeks of sewing we had to do in CAPP 8. I got eighteen percent.
I will never ever do this Roadblock.
Renae willingly wants to do it while Tyler begrudgingly volunteers.
I thought Canada was the only country that still sells Easy Share digital cameras.
Sam asks if it is faster to go by bus or taxi. They’re told to go by taxi. Both teams try to hire a taxi together.
Or just walk along the taxi.
Nathan reminds the viewers that racers are not allowed to get into a taxi unless it is registered. We cut to Sam confirming with the driver if he is a registered taxi driver.
Renae resorts to sign language to get confirmation.
“You me me you me me you me me you a taxi driver?”
Is this a taxi or Night at the Roxbury?
Nathan says this went on for twenty minutes.
RENAE: We need a proper taxi.
TAXI MAN: Yeah!
RENAE: You’re sure?
Or so he says. And that man’s pants matches the route marker flag colours.
NATHAN: We jumped in cause it was going to be half the price.
Considering Tyler & Nathan’s lack of cheddar in their pockets, they were willing to be a bit more gullible than usual.
SAM: We didn’t know it was a mistake. Definitely the wrong decision.
I think Tyler & Nathan suspected it might be a mistake.
Commercial break. We resume.
Luke repeats his confessional about recruiting a “handy local”.
Matt & Tom quietly pick a mask.
TOM: There was literally seven million people dancing wearing the exact same mask.
I count about one hundred people, and none of them are wearing the exact same mask.
Matt is hesitant to stop a man from dancing who he suspects matches their photo. I should note they didn’t copy Sam & Renae and Tyler & Nathan’s strategy of drawing the photo before going into the crowd.
Off to the sheriff’s station you go, buddy.
Should’ve drawn a sketch.
The dancer looks so sad.
“What do I do now, guys?”
LUKE: The mask station was right next to the train station. It was another one of those foolish moments.
Not even Ashanti uses the word “foolish” as much as Luke.
Jeff & Luke’s choices are a bit limited for the task.
I love how even the mask looks like it is groaning at Jeff & Luke.
Matt & Tom have the correct dancer and complete the task in third. Matt decides he is the one who can reap what he sows.
After getting through two wannabe sage gatekeepers.
Matt & Tom hire yet another auto-rickshaw.
Not if you are production who has no choice but to film it by an adjacent auto-rickshaw.
Jeff & Luke look like they have walked in on Chuck & Wynona having sex in their bedroom.
“We did it underneath our mounted moose head.”
It’s the Mercutio of costumes.
Jeff & Luke bring forth the last dancer and complete their task.
Because it involves a DIY task for older people, Jeff instantly volunteers.
Sam & Renae and Tyler & Nathan arrive at Trendy Connections together. Renae says it is like a bowling shirt.
SAM: Renae does know how to sew.
RENAE: I own a sewing machine so I know how to use one.
I own Game Party Champions for the Wii U, and I still don’t know how to use that game.
“You are an all-female team that is Marked for Elimination so we decided to give you a sewing task. Everything is equal now. Don’t fuck it up.”
The sewing factory is the only place I have seen female locals this episode. Does anyone else want to groan?
Renae confuses her shirt with a bib.
Nathan notes that Tyler looks lost as he walks around the place.
Tyler would probably give up all of his cash just to have somebody do this Roadblock for him.
Matt & Tom are third to the Roadblock.
TOM: He hasn’t sewn before. That shouldn’t be an issue today.
Actually, today would be the EXACT day that would be an issue.
MATT: I have never touched a sewing machine before in my life. My great aunt comes in once a year and does my sewing for me. That’s how I get my sewing done.
“When I complete this Roadblock, I never have to see my Great Aunt again!”
MATT: Just like using a welder!
We have an exhausted group today.
JEFF: It was fun. . .initially. For about the first minute.
Man, Luke can barely stay awake during the post-round confessionals. Somebody needs to spray him with water like a cat.
Jeff is not enjoying this task.
Matt hangs his hat up; you know he means business.
SAM: So we just gotta get out of here first.
Was that a pun, Sam?
We are reminded of Sam & Renae’s Marked for Elimination penalty.
SAM: I love yewwww, Renae. You’re doing good, Bubba.
Bondi Park Bubba Sparxxx.
Last seen in Vanuatu. Anyone know where this guy is?
The man on the right is not cool with being on camera.
“Like seriously guys, you’re filming me while I’m at work? You can see the sweat stains on my collar. Eeeeeugh.”
I swear Sam has called out “I love yewwwww” during every single one of Renae’s Roadblocks this season.
MATT: If it doesn’t fit properly, I hit it with a hammer at my job.
Tyler submits his shirt for approval. It ain’t right. He has to hem it. Renae is also rejected. Fatigue, hunger, and exhaustion is wiping Renae out.
Try to keep your hands steady and your mind focused even if you have prior experience with sewing.
MATT: That was the most frustrating thing I have had to do in a very long time.
Matt has to get a new shirt.
MATT: Wait until I tell my mom about this.
JEFF: You’ll make someone a great wife.
MATT: The sheep will be flocking to me after this.
Renae can’t help but mock them.
RENAE: I guess it was the outer detail that was messing everybody up with the sewing. The technique and everything you could pretty much watch and learn, but if you didn’t have everything in line, it messes the whole shirt up.
This task is making Renae sweat like a. . .well, like a sweatshop.
Renae submits her shirt for judgment.
RENAE: I’m going mental. I’m supposed to be a girl.
Am I the only one who wants to see that mannequin in the background to start moving?
Tom must be thinking “if the team that is Marked for Elimination leaves the Roadblock first, we’re screwed”.
The sewing supervisor approves.
SUPERVISOR: I have to say. . .it’s a yes.
Not without some slight trolling.
Her eyes couldn’t go any wider.
Renae puts her down after about ten minutes. Sam becomes a third wheel.
SAM: We have been waiting for a challenge just like this; it came at the right time.
Tune in for the finale boys when we have two Roadblocks: One will be a “Name That Sex and the City Character” trivia game and the Kylie Minogue-inspired dance challenge.
Sam cuts in to hug Renae after becoming jealous of Renae and Sewing Supervisor’s fast friendship.
So much for flying under the rader, eh Nathan?
Sam reads they must now make their way to the next pit stop–Independence Square.
Fuck. Another TAR Asia 4 location. Nothing about this leg was original. Fantastic.
I really want to jump through that hoop.
Independence Square, of course, commemorates the end of British rule over Sri Lanka.
Grant sure loves framing his junk today.
This round is not the only thing tightening up.
GRANT: The last team to arrive WILL be eliminated.
What, you mean you won’t have four teams in the finale?
Sam & Renae get into an auto-rickshaw.
SAM: First place, baby.
Not so fast!
Back at the sweatshop, Jeff tries to copy Matt’s work.
I don’t think Matt should be your Martin Prince, Jeff.
“Lizzie sews on wet noodles, Bart!”
MATT: I don’t think my hands are built for fitting it up around the needle.
First a bagel and now this? Matt really struggles with round holes.
Matt wants a sharper knife to fix his shirt.
MATT: You don’t have a scalpel blade, do ya?
“How. . .did you know?”
Nathan was expecting Tyler to lose his cool after the fifth shirt.
It’s tough to take an Angry Tyler seriously when he is wearing a fucking Mickey Mouse shirt. And why does Nathan have a 1970s Andre the Giant on his shirt?
Jeff says the sense of urgency led to everyone making big and small mistakes.
TOM: C’mon mate, you’ve almost got it!
Tom sews a shirt just for fun to taunt Matt.
Matt is doubtful that he has got it.
Tyler submits his latest creation.
“But what do I know, I’ve only been sewing my own clothes since I stitched my own onesie when I was eight months old.”
Sam & Renae are at Independence Square.
It’s been a while since they’ve dominated a round like this.
Grant is clearly no longer hanging out on the grass anymore.
They’ve got their own band.
That pit stop greeter’s outfit is awesome.
Sam just got leid.
So did Renae.
They really want the good news.
GRANT: Sam & Renae, you had a thirty minute time penalty hanging over your heads when you came in last on a Non-Elimination Leg. You -are- the first team to arrive. . .
Renae senses trouble.
GRANT: . . .However, I can’t check you in because you’ve incurred a further twenty minute penalty on this leg.
Oh no bubba, what did we dewwwwww????
“You’ve incurred the Double Penalty.”
“Welcome to the club!”
GRANT: For a breach of the rules involving getting into a private vehicle. You understand? You need to wait out that twenty minute penalty before I can check you in and clear the thirty minute penalty from last leg.
Of course we get Day 1 of the 7 Day Black and White Amazing Race Flashback Photo Challenge.
“Wait over here for twenty minutes. The band will crash cymbals behind your ears as you wait out the penalty.”
These twenty minutes could become fifty? That isn’t stressful at all.
Sam is crushed.
So is Renae.
Commercial break. We resume. The penalty is reiterated.
Jeff groans while making the shirt. Matt is confident he has made the most.
JEFF: Grrrrrr. Oh Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffreyyyyyyy.
Is Matt’s great aunt in the room?
MATT: It’s got a rip in it. Fuck.
Away it goes.
And if you need subtitles to tell you that is Matt after ELEVEN EPISODES then you have not been watching this season very closely.
Tyler says it was a mental challenge; Nathan is glad he is not doing this Roadblock. Tyler hand in his shirt. It’s approved.
Tyler is in need of a new shirt.
Tyler tries to use mental telepathy to read his clue.
“Warning: Whichever team checks in within the next ten minutes will screw over Sam & Renae and be eliminated from the race.”
Unless Matt continues to have a day like this.
Matt resorts to armpit farts to communicate how he feels about this leg.
Luke doesn’t think his dad is faring much better.
Enduring a complete recreation of Jesus’ crucifixion would be more pleasant than this Roadblock right now for Jeff.
LUKE: It was incredibly draining watching it happen knowing you couldn’t do anything.
Jeff & Luke are getting bored of a challenge. Let that sink in for a minute.
Through the tunnel, boys!
This is the Ceremony of the Screwing Over of the All-Female Team, potentially.
GRANT: Tyler and Nathan, you are the second team to arrive at the mat, and the girls are waiting out a penalty.
“And since this is our first season, our budget has left us without any more chairs.
GRANT: . . .Which puts you in first place!
Wait a second. . .
I love how suspicious everyone looks.
It is a very “GOT. . .ITEM?” moment.
GRANT: However, I have to ask you to wait out a twenty minute time penalty for a breach of the rules involving getting into private transport.
TYLER: It’s heartbreaking. It’s anyone’s game.
Tyler & Nathan need to hope Jeff and Matt can’t sew a shirt and check into the pit stop within the next twenty minutes.
Could a time penalty do Tyler & Nathan in rather than being freakin’ robbed on a train?
We cut to Matt fixing up a new shirt.
A shirt dangles from above.
“LOOK OUT, MATT!”
He almost got a concussion!
JEFF: I had nervous tension like I couldn’t possibly imagine I could ever have.
Jeff can’t bear to look at a sewing machine anymore.
JEFF: I had to really dig deep in a few of those moments.
You gotta dig, Jeff!
From one Jeff to another.
Luke is doing some digging of his own.
Jeff’s forehead gave birth to five new wrinkles that day.
The suspense continues.
I don’t know the purpose of this shot. It’s just a random camera lying on the ground.
TOM: It’s the Jeff and Matt Show! The bloody pressure is on the big fellas!
Tom can’t help but feel himself up to pass the time.
Matt is in pure agony when he hands in his next clothing item. I am not exaggerating.
The day Matt’s great aunt dies will be the worst day of his life.
The stitching on the underarm is off by half a centimetre.
Half a centimetre away from a first place finish this leg. So close, Matt.
Matt starts shaking his head at the camera while the man behind him can’t help but smile.
He has a future of being Gary Cant from Monopoly for the SNES.
Matt looks absolutely horrified. It’s like Sylvester Stallone watching one of his pet turtles being waterboarded.
Commercial break. We resume.
MATT: I can build a cow yard worth $50, 000 but I can’t make a shirt worth five dollars.
Jeff asks Matt how he is doing with the Roadblock.
MATT: Not very good.
Jeff hands a shirt in. It’s a yes.
Tom can only watch.
Jeff & Luke are outside trying to hire an auto-rickshaw.
JEFF: Do you know Independ–
Wow. They got SHUNNED. The driver said nothing and simply drove away from them.
Matt finishes his sewing.
“It’s Quittin’ Time! Time to go home to the wife and kids!”
I like how there is just one person left in the room that is sewing. What the hell did she do to deserve being the only one left behind?
And how in the world had everyone gone home since the start of Tyler & Nathan’s penalty but before Sam & Renae’s penalty is over?!
Something tells me he is far more than twenty minutes behind everyone. Including Jeff.
Matt is. . .not interested in hearing the clue.
Jeff & Luke continue to not be shunned.
The shunning persists.
Sam does a sneaky glance.
Sam & Renae sprint all three feet to the mat. It seems unnecessary, but whatever.
A great twist would be if Grant unleashes another penalty for them. Maybe there they accidentally purchased fifth class tickets.
Which they may be worried is about to happen.
But alas, no additional punches. They are no longer Marked for Elimination, and are. . .
FIRST PLACE: SAM & RENAE
Sam and her bubba are in the Final Three and have a shot at 250, 000 Aussie Dollars.
Tyler & Nathan’s safety net is gone.
Grant informs them they have won an entertainment package worth 5k from Australia’s favourite Asian, Bing Lee.
Look at all of those smiles for Bing Lee!
Renae is honoured to be in the Final Three; Sam says it was important to be the first ones locked into the Final Three (because of the indirect reasoning of being Marked for Elimination). We cut to Sam doing her trademark squeal.
I think Renae’s eardrum just got ruptured.
It’s even longer than Redmond and I’s hug at the TAR 29 finale party.
Tyler & Nathan are left alone to wait.
Time to do crunches!
TYLER: The one minute you’re happy and the next minute you want to kill yourself.
Well that’s excessive.
Jeff & Luke and Matt & Tom are both getting into tuk-tuks.
The lei can also be a bandana.
The partner can also be a pillow.
We keep cutting back and forth between all three teams. Matt & Tom curse about the traffic. As for Jeff & Luke?
I don’t think it’s a petrol issue, Jeff.
JEFF: We need it fixed now.
Jeff declines to take a hit of the good stuff.
Tyler has been a pillow for three minutes.
Jeff & Luke pray that their driver can avoid a DUI until -after- arriving at Independence Square.
Up you get, boys.
SECOND PLACE: TYLER & NATHAN
TYLER: Far out.
NATHAN: It’s a joke.
Wow. Two Tyler & Nathan-isms in 0.231 seconds. I am IMPRESSED.
We cut to a confessional.
TYLER: We’re so stoked to be in the Final Three.
Nathan says it was the longest twenty minutes ever.
There is no suspense for third place, apparently.
Except for this one second cut.
What? They are father and son?! No way!
THIRD PLACE: JEFF & LUKE
Here is a picture of Grant experiencing pain when he tries to smile.
Matt & Tom walk very slowly to the mat.
Matt’s head hangs in shame.
GRANT: Matt and Tom. . .you’re team number four.
“And in case you haven’t figured it out, that’s out of a total of four teams. Why I didn’t say you were the last team to arrive is beyond me.”
GRANT: I’m sorry guys. That places you last in this leg and you are therefore eliminated from the race and won’t be going with us to the final.
“Which is what I would be saying if Tyler hadn’t experienced super duper ultra Sri Lankan food poisoning and is unable to compete in the next leg! You’re still in the race!!!!!”
GRANT: It’s been a privilege and it’s been great watching you race.
Better cowboys than Jet & Cord. That’s for sure.
Tom says anyone could have been eliminated over a little challenge.
Both of them shake the hand of their gracious host.
MATT: We’ve never left the country until the start of this race. . .I think this passport has caused us a little trouble. Send me back to Australia ASAP.
That sounds more like Gino & Jesse’s last words upon being eliminated rather than Matt & Tom.
And our cowboys ride off into the sunset.
Next Time on TAR Australia: At the end of a race around the world, it all comes down to three teams.
Tyler & Nathan.
Sam & Renae.
And Jeff & Luke. The afterthought.
Who will in the first ever Amazing Race Australia and the quarter of a million dollars?
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) Masada, Israel -> Jerusalem, Israel
All of my religious jokes in the blog aside, it is still really really cool that TAR Australia visited Jerusalem.
I understand why they focused more on the biblical part of the city rather than the current political climate, but it was still awesome to see the city be added to the TAR catalog. I am very curious to see how TAR US or TAR Canada will treat Israel when they eventually visit the country.
It was a bit anti-climatic as this was the shortest episode of the season in terms of airtime, and since NELs on the penultimate leg aren’t allowed anymore it had to be the final NEL of the season. It didn’t help that there were no equalizers and the tasks were easy enough for everyone to stay in the exact same position as they did in the last leg.
The Holy Grail task was a bit too similar to what we saw in the metal detector search task from the previous round. However, instead of a beach we get an awesome trek through the mysterious city of David.
Seeing teams go to the site of the Dead Sea Scrolls as Renae shaves her legs, Matt takes a nap, and Jeff couldn’t understand this task at all made it an entertaining Roadblock for everyone.
Watching Tyler & Nathan deal with mounting pressure, stress, and attrition was interesting to watch play out. They have surprisingly unique ways of coping with this in the race.
The letters to be sent home ultimately amounted to nothing. What was the point? There was no payoff with it.
Sam falling was funny. Jeff being the Slow Grandpa was funny. The Kimo Leopoldo crosses were funny. Matt being seduced by a bagel was funny.
There was a mixture of self-driving, taxis, and racing on-foot to make this an integrated round of play.
It was a quick round, but we really needed two rounds in Israel and producers did a pretty good damn job with it. I approve.
3) 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?
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) Jerusalem, Israel -> Colombo, Sri Lanka
Wow. TAR Asia 4 copycating was in full overdrive this round. Not only were there identical tasks and locations, but a trivia question was identical and the names of the freakin’ Detour tasks were identical too (okay, Count is different from Count It, but still).
I already think TAR 24 is the worst season to air internationally, but its reputation drops further now that I know how much it copied TAR Asia 4 and TAR Australia 1.
I liked the flight dilemma for all four teams this leg, and is a good reminder of why the Speed Bump has run its course. Yes, even by the end of TAR 18 the Speed Bump was getting dull.
Seeing the dichotomy between Tyler & Nathan and Sam & Renae vs. Matt & Tom and Jeff & Luke was interesting to watch play out. Two teams that took all risks and wore themselves out prior to an equalizer still managed to kick the asses of two teams who took a calmer and more comfortable approach.
Tyler & Nathan’s prime social game continued as they successfully worked with Sam & Renae to get themselves into the Final Three.
Jeff & Luke’s car problems was amusing; Matt’s struggles with sewing was also amusing.
This was a leg that was extremely physical and extremely long until a final task which required pure concentration, focus, and a steady hand. All with a spot in the Final Three on the line.
We also saw two unusual penalties this leg. We had Jeff & Luke being saved by having to wait only ten minutes as they had to buy the wrong train tickets in order to avoid being two hours behind everyone else. The other penalty was Sam & Renae and Tyler & Nathan’s twenty minute accidental private car incident. Sam & Renae’s penalty created a lot of suspense as we were this close to seeing an additional thirty minute penalty for Sam & Renae being assessed, and possibly being the double whammy that puts them out of the race.
It’ll be fun to see a showdown between Tyler & Nathan and Sam & Renae in the final leg, and this leg certainly set us up well for it.
Lastly, Matt & Tom redeemed the cowboy image. Jet & Cord are awful, but Matt & Tom weren’t. I like Matt & Tom. Matt’s facial expressions throughout the leg and his introduction to bagels was hilarious. They also used a lot of Aussie slang which made me giggle.
8) 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.
9) 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.
10) 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.
11) 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 finished in their rightful position. Their average for the season is 4.1, and it is only fitting they were eliminated in fourth place. They finished in fourth A LOT throughout the race.
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) Matt Nunn & Tom Warriner
Jet & Cord made me have a prejudice against cowboys.
Matt & Tom removed that prejudice.
Country boys who had never left Australia before were thrown into the middle of Israel, South Africa, and congested South Asian cities. Matt had never seen a bagel before. A freakin’ bagel.
Also, Matt & Tom quickly regretting their decision to eat sausage was hilarious. Matt couldn’t sew a shirt to save his life. They felt out of place in a Chinese casino, and felt even more out of place in. . .well, almost anywhere.
Matt & Tom were so nice to the other teams that when they tried to help Sam & Renae it ended up being the wrong information and were accused of being deceptive.
Matt & Tom are so straightforward that both of them alternated between just two teams for the ‘How Well Do You Know Your Partner’ task.
I can’t pinpoint too many more specific moments or other major storylines with Matt & Tom. Being ranked ninth out of eleven teams in this team ranking is not a reflection of how bad they were, but rather that there were so many strong and memorable teams that Matt & Tom had to be the team to be dropped to this position.
8) 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.
2nd Pamela & Vanessa 3.92 TAR Asia 2
4th A.D. & Fuzzie 3.90 – U-Turned and saved by NEL once TAR Asia 3
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF TAR 2
6th Sunaina & Dimple 3.875 – Used Yield, U-Turned TAR Asia 4
2nd Kelly & Jon 3.85 Saved by NEL twice TAR 4
2nd Michelle & Claire 3.81 Used U-Turn and Yielded TAR Asia 4
1st Zabrina & Joe Jer 3.77 saved by NEL once TAR Asia 1
2nd Sandy & Francesca 3.77 – Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR Asia 1
2nd Herb & Nate a.k.a. Flight Time & Big Easy 3.75 U-Turned and Used U-Turn TAR 18
4th Diane & Ann 3.75 – Yielded TAR Asia 2
4th Jon & Al 3.73 TAR 4
6th Charla & Mirna 3.71 TAR 5
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 2
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF TAR 4
5th Kynt & Vyxsin 3.63 Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR 12
1st Eric & Danielle All Stars 3.62 – Yielded Twice, saved by NEL once TAR 11
4th Mardy & Marsio 3.58 FF, saved by NEL once TAR Asia 1
6th Mel & Mike 3.57 TAR 14
5th Ethan & Khairie 3.56 TAR Asia 4
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56 TAR 6
3rd Ida & Tania 3.54 Saved by NEL twice TAR Asia 3
4th Joseph & Monica 3.50 – Yielded TAR 9
3rd Andrew & Syeon 3.46 TAR Asia 1
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46 – Used Yield and Yielded TAR 6
2nd Ronald & Christina 3.45 TAR 12
4th Zev & Justin 3.45 TAR 18
4th Nathan & Jennifer 3.40 – Never finished in 1st TAR 12
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 2
1st Chip & Kim 3.38 – Used Yield TAR 5
6th Steve & Allie 3.38 – TAR 16, and ain’t got no clothes.
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF TAR 1
1st Kisha & Jen 3.33 TAR 18
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
4th Matt & Tom 3.27 Saved by NEL once TAR Australia 1
3rd Gary & Mallory 3.25 Saved by NEL once and Used Express Pass TAR 18
5th Terence & Sarah 3.25 TAR 13
1st TK & Rachel 3.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 12
4th Godlewski Family 3.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 8
3rd Jeff & Luke 3.17 TAR Australia 1
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17 – Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR 10
2nd Sam & Dan 3.17 U-Turned Pointlessly TAR 15
2nd Brook & Claire 3.17 U-Turned Once TAR 17
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17 TAR 10
3rd Weaver Family 3.15 – Yielded Twice, saved by NEL twice TAR 8
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF TAR 4
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF, saved by NEL once TAR 7
4th Toni & Dallas 3.10 Still in Russia TAR 13
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF TAR 3
2nd Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 3.09 Used Yield and U-Turn TAR Asia 3
4th Herb & Nate a.k.a. Flight Time & Big Easy 3.09 TAR 15. Znarf!
1st Nat & Kat 3.08 – FF and Used U-Turn Once TAR 17
2nd Rob & Kim 3.08 – FF TAR 10