Episode Blog #285
“A 250, 000 Dollar Geography Lesson”
INDONESIA – VIETNAM – CHINA – SOUTH AFRICA – THE NETHERLANDS – CZECH REPUBLIC – POLAND – ISRAEL – SRI LANKA – SINGAPORE – AUSTRALIA
Previously on TAR Australia 1:
Tonight, after a race around the world one of these teams will take home a quarter of a million dollars in the TAR Australia grand finale.
Eleven teams set out on a race around four continents. Along the way they overcame fears and almost insurmountable obstacles. Teams crashed. And soared. Hit their limits and each other but eight teams didn’t last the distance.
Now, it comes down to the Final Three.
Models Sam & Renae. Used their charms and displayed stamina to stay level with The Boys.
Surfers Nathan & Tyler combined street smarts and competitive spirit to move to the front of the pack.
Father and son Jeff & Luke reunited to create a partnership built of both strength and experience.
Who will win the first ever (of only three) Amazing Race Australia and the quarter of a million dollar prize.
Grant introduces us to the city of Colombo–the largest city in Sri Lanka. He also reminds us that this country declared self-rule in 1948. My god, I’ll never forget that year of independence.
And just like Kevin Garnett. . .
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!!
Sam & Renae were the first team to arrive at an unspecified time. They will depart first at 7:32am.
The pink and black attack is back.
Kent & Vyxsin would approve.
Sam & Renae they are hopping from one island state to another–Singapore.
Michael MacKay sure loves using Singapore as a hub in between countries on the same leg. This also means we are going to be island hopping all the way to the finish line.
For some reason, I don’t think a Caltex gas station will be a repeated location.
Once in Singapore, they must find the Goh Chor Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple where a traditional Chinese opera troupe performs.
Opera is not popular in Singapore.
You can’t tell, but he is weeping on the inside. And yes, that is the same location on the mural that was used in TAR 16 and TAR Asia 5.
Nearby teams will find a pile of their foul-smelling fruit called durians.
The Steve & Dave of fruit at the end of a meal of endless hot wings during Super Bowl Sunday.
They must split them open until they find a durian with a brightly coloured centre before receiving their next clue.
It’s like the inside has been coated with raspberries.
I wonder if anybody in Singapore knows Bing Lee?
Sam & Renae say they will be BFFs NENENENENE, and Sam loves her bubba.
We are reminded that Sam & Renae are the only two females left “standing” in this race.
Although I would say Sam is more leaning than standing, but whatever.
Tyler & Nathan depart in second at 7:51am and are given twenty bucks.
It’s more than Kendra has made in the past year.
Tyler breaks out his lucky shades.
TYLER: Singapore? You’re kidding!
NATHAN: Twenty bucks? Are you kidding?
Why do they think nobody is ever being serious?
Tyler plans to be ruthless. I certainly hope so since this is the final leg.
Jeff & Luke start in last at 8:58am. They are pumped about Singapore.
In other news, Sam & Renae being Marked for Elimination did not matter last leg.
Jeff & Luke try a Russian accent.
JEFF: If we have to eat a durian, I am glad it’s your challenge because it smells like your shoes.
LUKE: I vwill vweat durian!
And gladly wash it down with a healthy portion of borscht!
Luke talks about forming the best bond that they can.
And as a thank you for visiting their country, the people of Sri Lanka honour Jeff & Luke by presenting them with the country’s flag.
And it’s an airport equalizer. No penalties. Nothing. Everyone is on a level playing field.
To the smallest Asian country we go!
The flight touches down at 10:15pm.
Turn, Magic Wheel.
Jeff & Luke are first into a cab.
JEFF: We’re in a very big hurry. Shay shay knee.
Everyone watches the dash through the airport.
Who knew the word ‘temple’ is the word that Renae would struggle with most in that sentence.
Jeff is proud of being in the Final Three with Luke.
“He’s not stopping for petrol, is he?”
TYLER: We deserve to win this race because we haven’t stuffed too many people over and just been putting in 110 percent.
Inputing that criteria, that narrows you down to. . . three teams.
NATHAN: Words don’t even explain how far we’ve come as people to get to this stage.
Maybe because you two are just the same cool guys, and maybe there are no words to explain in the first place?
Sam & Renae are very droopy at the moment. Sam says she just learned about durian being a fruit. Not just any fruit, but a smelly fruit.
Sam is ready to jump out of the cab.
It’s smelly fruit. Who wouldn’t be?
Get your ski shined up, take a stick of smelly fruit, the taste is gonna move ya. . .
He is freaking out so much.
I don’t know why this task is being done in front of opera performers.
Looks like chicken.
Sam & Renae are in pain as the spiky fruit and the tough shell to crack is causing them trouble.
It’s a familiar pairing as they fight it out over smelly fruit in front of martial artists who also happen to be opera singers in the middle of Singapore.
Sam plunges the knife into the heart of the durian as the monkey on the poster watches.
They explain proper stabbing technique.
All that guy needs to do is lift up his right arm and he has a good ol’ fashioned Hitler march goin’ on.
Jeff & Luke are third to the durian task. Everyone is shoulder to shoulder.
Or butt to butt, rather.
That fruit’s texture is ugly too.
Although I wouldn’t say that in front of a bunch of sword-wielding locals.
SAM: It’s disgusting! It smells like poo!
Now you’ve upset him!
Nathan grabs his toque. Why? Is it cold in Singapore?
Nope. It’s acting as a glove to keep his hands intact.
NATHAN: We got the trusted beanies out. We needed something to protect our hands. We had the beanie boys for a while. It was only a matter of time before we whipped them out and used them. We heard crying in the background and here we are beanied up slicing those things.
TOQUES. NOT BEANIES! And no washing machine will be able to cleanse their beanie.
Classic durian blisters.
Tyler resorts to throwing down the beanies onto the ground.
Tyler stomps on it like garbage in an overflowing garbage can. Now he’ll have to throw out his shoes!
Jeff using brute force on the durians.
This durian looks like a freakin’ sea monster.
Tyler & Nathan are first to find the raspberry durian. It’s a Insta-Detour.
Dare or Stair.
And yes, it’s time to hang out on the Marina Bay Sands.
It’s the first time contestants will get to be here at night on The Amazing Race.
In Dare, teams must make their way up to the famous Marina Bay Sands–an iconic Singaporean landmark. They must travers from Tower 1 to Tower 2 across a wire, and return to Tower 1.
We have seen this task many times before.
It’s the classic “Hussein Quits When He is About To Win TAR Asia 4” task.
In Stair, teams must make their way to Marina Bay Sands Tower 1 and scale the fifty-five levels using only the stairs, collect a souvenir, take it back to the lobby, then climb the fifty-six flights of stairs in Tower 2 to the very top to exchange for their next clue.
“Beyond this door is where your hell begins.”
Why are you strangling that poor polar bear?
Ethan & Khairie are going to be so pissed when they see this!
The fifty-six levels of stairs is why she is such a thin employee at the hotel.
In a shocking turn, Tyler & Nathan decide Stair.
Two surfers are avoiding the adrenaline option.
Nathan re-reads the Stair option.
Perhaps the term “Postman’s Walk” deterred them from doing the Dare option.
TYLER: I am feeling pretty confident.
NATHAN: Yeah. Same.
Renae yells in agony as Jeff opens a raspberry durian.
I don’t know why that had to be subtitled.
Jeff is about to kiss his hand, but the opera man takes it away to avoid being infected with durian hands.
Jeff & Luke also choose Stair.
After all of that sweat they would prefer to do 222 flights of stairs?!
Jeff decides to play a game of Frogger.
I guess durian juice makes you feel invincible.
How did the Jeff cross the road? By not giving two fucks about downtown Singaporean traffic.
Luke? He appreciates his mortality a bit more.
“We can’t do -this-!”
LUKE: We can’t–Dad–
JEFF: Luke, watch that way.
LUKE: We can’t do this! We can’t do this!
JEFF: Luke, relax. One just drove past. Trust me on this one. Trust me on this one.
It would be hilarious if Luke gets absolutely nailed by a car the second he steps out into traffic.
Should’ve not been obsessing over that Burn Book, Luke!
“Trust me on this, Luke! Tina Fey is a pusher!”
And Jeff really went overboard with the hair gel in his confessionals at the finish line. He has been deprived of it for over a month!
The humidity is not their friend.
The lonely music plays as locals gather to watch Sam & Renae as the only team left standing durians.
And yes, they are using Rambo bandanas to protect their hands.
RENAE: If it comes down to luck. . .
SAM: No, we’re always out. Catch you later.
And the same is true here as they struggle through their pile.
Well, they aren’t going to be hand models after this task.
Oswald & Danny will have to take over.
This man traded in his sword for some Michael Jackson dance moves.
That’s my Halloween costume next year.
SAM: We had been there for a while cutting up those fruits. It was hot. It was sweaty and they smelled really disgusting.
They won’t be imported into an Australian supermarket anytime soon.
Sam opens up another durian.
SAM: Negative, Captain Neg.
Captain Neg? Why does the durian get that rank?
SAM: Apparently the fruit makes you high after a while.
I was gonna go to class, but then I had durian for lunch.
“Like. . .where did Matt & Tom go? They were just here yesterday.”
Sam & Renae can’t stop laughing after mentioning they are last.
Durian is essentially Singaporean kava.
I would think I was hallucinating if I saw that poster.
Tyler & Nathan and Jeff & Luke re-assess their choices. Tyler & Nathan opt to switch to Dare before getting to the hotel.
Into the hotel they go.
LJN logos everywhere.
Jeff is ready for a nice evening jog.
Time to build some character, boys.
This is just a quarter of their route.
JEFF: After floor six or eight, there were a lot of floors to go. Four times. Twice up. Twice down.
I don’t know Jeff knows how many times six goes into 222. . .
Nathan is not a fan of heights. He asks how long he would dangle for if he falls off the cable.
Don’t worry, if Jim didn’t fall then you won’t fall.
Nathan gives a couple of light screams.
Nathan starts walking across in jeans that are more sliced than a durian.
I wonder if anybody else has traversed the two towers in cut up jeans before.
Nathan is happy it is night time because he can’t focus as much on the ground due to the darkness.
Just imagine you’re falling into the sky and you get to fly around to your heart’s content.
Renae pries open the magical durian.
One half of the durian goes flying. Into the smelly abyss it goes.
Dancin With the Durians.
Sam wants to do the Dare Detour.
SAM: Can you walk across the beam?
RENAE: I want to do stairs. Seriously, I’m not gonna walk. That’s gonna be really scary.
SAM: You jumped out of a plane.
And she’ll be walking no matter what this Detour. Just. . .one option will be where you can see over two hundred metres below you.
RENAE: I know, but I’m not gonna walk
SAM: Then I will die up the stairs.
I don’t know why, but the camera pans down for about three seconds. I don’t know why we can’t see Sam & Renae’s facial expressions right now.
We cut to a confessional.
SAM: Stairs? Who wants to walk up stairs when we can walk along a piece of rope.
“Hippies walk across pieces of rope between trees all the time!”
Renae eventually complies.
SAM: It’s fifty-six levels high. Twin towers. I would die. I would die.
SAM: It just made sense to do something that’s a lot shorter than run up lots of stairs.
Sam & Renae try a unique strategy to hail a taxi.
Flail your arms like a maniac.
Tyler instructs Nathan to slide to the halfway point rather than bounce the rope. It is done.
Seeing this task done at night is awesome.
Sam reassures Renae in the cab that they can switch if Renae panics.
Jeff & Luke are at the twenty-seventh floor.
You know what?
I bet Hussein quits this task too.
Luke supermans his dad with water.
Let’s do this, pa.
Nathan completes it as Tyler is next to go on the rope.
TYLER: You ain’t joking.
NOBODY IS JOKING! GOD!
Free advertising for Nike.
Those shorts cannot be comfortable.
Tyler mimes the wobbly nature of the wires.
Sam & Renae are at the hotel.
Season’s Greetings? It’s the middle of November.
And given the religious demographic of Singapore, I can’t figure out what holiday season it could be in mid-November unless the seven percent and the invading tourists prepare for Christmas REALLY early.
Jeff’s shirt is more sweat than shirt at this point.
Jeff describes Luke as an instrument and weapon of coaching.
The Holy Merlion is theirs.
Luke goes full on Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels coaching.
LUKE: We are tracking pretty well time-wise. Suck some deep ones in gently.
(JEFF does not suck the air in gently. At all.)
LUKE: And out.
Nathan starts laughing when Sam & Renae join them on top.
TYLER: Who’s there?
NATHAN: Sam and Renae, and Renae is shaking her head. She doesn’t like heights.
“If you quit this task Renae, I will do to you what I did to the durians.”
Renae is ready for some fun!
Tyler completes the task. Nathan reads that teams must go to Hong San See Taoist Temple and have their fortunes read by a traditional Chinese fortune teller via five minute palm reading. Once their destiny is predicted, they will receive their next clue.
It’s like a movie.
I hope the incense is not from durians.
I see. . .
. . .Only two more seasons in your future.
Take this. . .although you will be the runner-ups of this season.
Sam reminds Renae of what they have done.
SAM: We have done so much stuff. This is nothing. Nothing!
“Yeah, just traversing across a beam over two hundred metres above the ground. Nothing. Right, Sam.”
Tyler & Nathan take the elevator back down as they talk about the Stair option. Tyler says they would have been absolutely screwed.
Sam & Renae are ready. Renae has to go first.
SAM: I love yewwwww.
RENAE: I love yew.
SAM: I love yewww.
They do their classic handshake.
RENAE: What happens if I fall?
MAN: What happens? . . .
No one has asked him that question before. I’d imagine you would plummet to your death.
Psssst. You have to move your feet onto the beam, Renae.
Renae hears a click in the harness that she doesn’t like.
RENAE: I can’t do this. I can’t do this.
It would be so funny if that man accidentally fell back and onto the ground right now. Renae would absolutely freak out.
RENAE: I can’t do it, Sam.
“You can’t do it? Right before a commercial break? For some reason, I am hesitant to believe you, bubba.”
Renae feels sick. She thinks she will fall after she shakes.
Sam and the instructor reassure her. One of their team’s rules is if somebody says “I can’t” then they have to do it.
Renae models the traversing technique.
Tyler & Nathan get into a cab and watch Renae walk wacross.
What an awkward angle to tilt your head at.
I can’t tell if Renae is smiling or just has a lot of gritty tension in her face.
Renae makes it to the halfway point.
And with that, Renae is officially braver than Hussein Sutadisastra.
SAM: She’s a soldier. There’s nothing she can’t do. You’re there, babe! You’re nearly there!
SAM: I know, but you’re doing it.
RENAE: Shut up.
SAM: You actually can’t back out now.
RENAE: Shush now.
SAM: I love yewww!
RENAE: Don’t say it. I mean it.
“Don’t you love me too, bubba?”
Sam’s heart is broken.
Tyler & Nathan make it to the fortune teller.
Not even Fran & Barry can miss those flags.
The man starts talking to him in what I presume is Mandarin.
Dude needs to shave.
“I think he just said ‘we smell like shit,’ Tyler.”
“I foresee you never being able to rinse off that stench of durian. It shall cling to you like a fungus. Your family won’t want to be around you. Your friends shall distance themselves. And your girlfriends will find a new bae.”
They glance at the woman for a translation.
WOMAN: You are very stubborn but have an outgoing character.
That’s not a translation, by the way–it’s what she genuinely thinks of Tyler & Nathan.
WOMAN: You’re very loyal. You’re a very loyal friend.
Tyler is stubborn, outgoing, and loyal. Nathan looks at the camera.
“I really hope he doesn’t find out I did his ex. He is unaware we are eskimo brothers.”
And it’s this last quote which kills me.
WOMAN: You’re very good with using money and spending money.
Well, they did blow most of their money this season on train robbers. Not to mention one of them will become a future entrepreneur and star on Aussie Apprentice.
Renae completes it.
RENAE: I would rather jump out of a plane twenty times. I’m not kidding.
We’re losing her!
Sam loves it.
RENAE: She’s an adrenaline junkie.
As opposed to a regular junkie.
Jeff & Luke are on the fiftieth level of the second tower.
Now would be a good time to rest at the Golden Tulip.
He needs a dog with a saddle.
Luke counts down Jeff’s rest time. They keep moving.
Nathan has his palm reading.
WOMAN: You’ll be very wealthy in the future.
“By the way, here is my number. Call me.”
$125k coming your way, Nate Dogg.
WOMAN: You will have a very nice apartment by yourself and a very nice car.
NATHAN: In my head I was thinking ‘winning’ and everything related to it.
WOMAN: You will be staying in other countries, and you will start your own business.
This fortune teller is the real deal.
TYLER: That was a massive confidence booster. We definitely think we are going to win this. We’ll listen to this old Chinese man. That was sick, dude.
They read that they must go to the Jurong Chinese Gardens and find a statue of Confucius which will lead to their next clue.
Straight outta Age of Empires.
Doesn’t Confucius oppose competition?
I wonder if that Dream Teamer has a “Clue Arm” tan after filming a full season. Everything else from the elbow up is nothing but pale skin.
Tyler & Nathan hire a cab.
NATHAN: He told me I was gonna be wealthy. I’ve been getting told that my whole life, though.
NATHAN: It’s the gap in the teeth.
Sam is on the beam.
RENAE: She is loving it.
(RENAE proceeds to copy the KISHA HOFFMAN laugh.)
I have never heard Renae laugh like that before but it is IDENTICAL to Kisha’s laugh.
Twins. All it took was for Sam’s happiness to trigger it.
SAM: Are you happy you did this one? I would’ve died doing the stairs.
RENAE: I died a little bit out there. Didn’t you see a part of me float up?
I thought Renae died a little from happiness when she grabbed the instructor’s tookish.
Sam & Renae complete the Detour in second place. Speaking of people dying during this Detour. . .
Jeff is pretty close to a heart attack.
Jeff & Luke complete the task.
LUKE: What an absolute champion!
Champions currently in last place.
Now you get a nice glass of fruit juice! Just. . .just don’t ask what fruit it is beforehand.
Sam & Renae are in a cab talking about the Detour.
RENAE: I said there is nothing I won’t do, but I bloody won’t do that again.
Way to stay focused on the task, guys. This is right above the “if you are nervous on stage, just picture everyone naked” technique.
Luke says his dad is an inspiration for all sixty year olds and that there is no excuse for other sixty year olds out there.
“Except cancer. Then it is inappropriate for Luke to say that.”
Luke is really proud of his dad.
Hell, Jeff has even learned how to tell time by the end of this season. He isn’t even off by two hours!
Sam & Renae enter the fortune teller’s house. He tells them they will make really good wives and are very fertile, and have ideal child-bearing hips.
“What’d he say? What’d he say?”
WOMAN: Looking at your romance line, there is a guy who is in love with you.
“And a woman! Ella esta aqui!”
Sam has a secret admirer and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Oooooooooooo
RENAE: She’s like “Which one?”
Which one?! You mean there’s several dudes involved?! Sam is a playa!
“She don’t wanna be a player no more!”
“Sam’s not a player she just crush a lot!”
Sam is like the female 2Pac–she get around! In a good way!
You know what? This is less cringe-worthy than what I was expecting. I know myself and my fans identify more as feminists, and I think we were all waiting for some painful fortune telling. But that was not the case.
Sam smiles politely at Renae’s fortune of being a professor.
If Sam had water in her mouth, it would’ve been spat out.
Renae holds onto her fortune in her mouth as they read the clue.
On the way out, they pass an incoming Jeff & Luke. Jeff & Luke just asked their cab to wait.
Not only did they catch up to Jeff & Luke at the Detour, but they gained seven minutes on them in the process.
Sam & Renae see Jeff & Luke’s cab and try to steal it.
SAM: Can you take us? Please?
RENAE: We’ll give you extra.
Well, whatever it was, that clip is gonna go unaired.
RENAE: Extra money. He’s like ‘no’. Damn.
Renae mimes both sides of the conversation really well.
I wonder why it didn’t work?
Maybe because the taxi driver wasn’t JK during a full moon.
We cut to Tyler & Nathan approaching the Chinese garden.
Beyond the purple arch lies Confucius.
Hmmmm, this place looks familiar. . .
Ah! Rainbow Bridge from the TAR Asia 2 finish line!
Not to be confused with Rainbow Road.
Tyler & Nathan are running all throughout the garden.
That looks Confucius-y.
Such pretty lights.
Meanwhile, Jeff & Luke moan REALLY loud when they sit down for the fortune.
I never found fortune telling to be an erotic experience, personally.
WOMAN: Great fortunes for you.
JEFF: We’re going to win The Amazing Race.
I am surprised the fortune teller didn’t wipe Jeff’s hand down with a towel from all of the seat while gripping the railing up the two towers of the Marina Bay Sands.
Jeff continues having his fortune being read.
“I foresee a reduced ability to experience erections in the future.”
WOMAN: Even though you are at the good age of sixty, you have a very good physique.
MAN: Thank you.
The fortune teller is hitting on Jeff. Hilarious.
WOMAN: You’re very sincere towards people.
JEFF: I love that whole fortune telling. The mysticism side of things. And what he said felt just like it was correct.
Yeah, Jeff suddenly loves the idea of “mysticism” when an old Singaporean man tells him he is a hot man and is a caring individual. Yeah, mysticism.
Luke holds out his hand.
Try me, old wise man.
WOMAN: You’re very lucky with the ladies and love you.
“They love you long time.”
Jeff loses it.
“Once this show airs, panties will be dropping everywhere you walk in public.”
WOMAN: Wishing you great success in a very short time.
So Jeff was told he is a sexy old man and Luke was told ladies want to do him. What a fortune teller.
Luke reads the clue.
LUKE: Confucius says ‘studying the past if you are defining the future’.
Sadly, no comments about Jeff’s physique in this clue.
Jeff & Luke return to their unpoached cab.
Tyler & Nathan find their clue. They read they must travel by cab to the Singapore Flyer and search each of the twenty-eight capsules for their next clue.
I was expecting a Confucius-y task here, but alas it was not meant to be.
You can see all the way to Kuala Lumpur from the top!
GRANT: The Singapore Flyer is the world’s tallest ferris wheel.
Is it? Because I know for a fact that isn’t true.
Because I was on the world’s tallest ferris wheel in Las Vegas–the High Roller.
High Roller: 550 feet
Singapore Flyer: 541 feet.
However, Grant Bowler wasn’t lying when he said this, though. The High Roller wasn’t officially the tallest until after TAR Australia 1 aired.
GRANT: In each of the Flyer’s twenty-eight capsooooles (Grant struggles with this word), there is a race envelope.
Very blue in there. Why are all capsules like that?
Why is one of the envelopes on a coffin?
One of the capsules is designed after Goldmember’s room in Austin Powers.
Sadly, we have another pure luck task on our hands as just three of the twenty-eight capsules contain a clue.
Trust me, this task is the worst.
Teams will complete a twenty minute rotation of the Singapore Flyer in each capsule. Therefore, if they have the shittiest luck in the world, they could be stuck in the Singapore Flyer for nearly nine hours.
The clue may as well say “Go fuck yourself you unlucky son of a bitch”.
Tyler & Nathan catch a cab. To the Flyer!
Drive in style with Silvercab!
Sam & Renae see the Confucius statue as they talk about it being late into the night. It must be really late because I see no locals. Jeff & Luke cross the Rainbow Bridge. Both teams have seen the same Confucius statue.
It’s lonely in Singapore for once.
Why are Jeff & Luke looking at a map? We know they can’t read one.
Floyd Mayweather can do a better job of reading maps than Jeff & Luke this season.
Jeff & Luke find this park very confucing.
Tyler & Nathan are at the Singapore Flyer. They are the only two people waiting in line.
“I knew buying the ‘Cut the Line’ ticket was a scam!”
“Just to let you know, I hate working the 3:00am shift.”
I assume the place has been shut down just for production. I wonder how that was worked out behind the scenes?
Nathan catches on that they are doing everyone else’s work as the board crosses off a capsule for all teams to see.
Everyone’s odds improve to 1-in-9. This task is so fair!
TYLER: There’s twenty-eight freakin’ things, dude.
“They have to be kidding.”
Sam & Renae see a high rise sign on the map and catch on that the clue is going to be there because they were just in a high rise building.
More stairs for Jeff & Luke!
Tyler & Nathan found it by pure luck–Sam & Renae find it by actually figuring shit out.
Jeff & Luke are running near them.
JEFF: What does the future look like?
Well, it involves women hitting on your son according to the fortune teller.
It’s the final leg of the race, and for the first time since Richard & Joey’s broken promise in the third round, somebody is thinking about being intentionally deceptive.
We’ve got some scheming going on!
JEFF: You’ve got it?
SAM: It’s massive.
I love how Sam tries to mime with her arms how massive the garden is.
JEFF: Confucius. It’s massive.
LUKE: That’s the statue we were at.
JEFF: Did we miss something?
Yeah. The truth.
Sam says there hasn’t been many opportunities where you can sabotage somebody on the race. Well, other than those train robbers if you’re Tyler & Nathan.
Renae feels so bad about it too.
They found it! They just lied!
LUKE: Read out the birth year!
We cut to a confessional.
LUKE: I wrote down a bunch of information that was utterly useless!
Jeff reads out everything on the statue.
Tyler & Nathan say the view of the Flyer was great for the first minute.
NATHAN: I’d rather have the view from the taxi.
Slowest. Final. Leg. Ever.
Nathan realizes they could be in there for up to nine hours.
They could escape from a Titanic replica in that time.
TYLER: No, I’m not.
NATHAN: We hate it.
Worst ad spot ever.
We can hear thunder as Jeff & Luke approach the tower.
The gods punish the Earth for Sam & Renae’s deception.
JEFF: After he had written down all of his useless information, we finally saw this huge pagoda.
Luke’s wrists are as tired as Jeff’s legs after writing down all of that information.
Jeff & Luke have the clue in last place.
Tyler & Nathan exit their first capsule failure.
TYLER: “Hard luck!”
I believe Tyler is thinking “our hard luck has just begun!”
TYLER: That’s not event he start of it!
Tyler & Nathan choose capsule #16. I don’t know why they just don’t choose the next capsule.
In other news, Tyler & Nathan’s twenty minute advantage from what we presume was mostly from the durian fruit task is officially erased.
Sam & Renae jump into the next available capsule. I don’t know why Tyler & Nathan didn’t do that.
TYLER: I hate watching other teams go in before us.
“You could’ve chosen this one, boys.”
Sam & Renae pick Capsule #15. I guess the advantage is barely thirty seconds.
Tyler & Nathan are eager to see if their luck is truly shitty.
Sam taunts Tyler & Nathan with the clue.
C’mon ladies. . .
Sam opens the clue and. . .we head to commercial break.
We resume. The music really winds us up for the reveal.
It’s not the right clue. Sam & Renae decide not to fuck with Tyler & Nathan’s heads and opt to signal the truth.
TYLER: Singapore Flyer was just a joke.
And he ain’t kidding.
It is the biggest dark comedy of the season.
The finish line couldn’t be further away right now.
Tyler & Nathan choose capsule #13.
Into another lonely capsule they go.
Tyler & Nathan pick the wrong clue.
Jeff & Luke now show up.
JEFF: Eight. Lucky Chinese number. It was a strategy. Of course. We’re in a Chinese based community. Eight is a lucky number.
Every once in a while. . .
. . .Jeff reminds us he is a sixty year old man.
Jeff & Luke prepare to open the clue.
JEFF: Eight. It’s going to be our lucky number. . .
LUKE: Sorry, try again.
JEFF:. . .
JEFF: OK. There you go. Enjoy the ride.
Perfect piece of comedy.
Everyone passes time in Singapore Flyer. They are experiencing cabin fever.
Nathan has a therapy session.
JEFF: That was built by the people who owned Marina Bay Sands.
Luke whistles as the lecture continues.
Tyler grabs a bite to eat.
Nathan’s manners evaporate.
JEFF: There is an area down here that’s like a square of lights. Ummm. . .and it’s one of the biggest lighting platforms in Southeast Asia.
I wish Jeff would just bullshit us with as much fake information as possible.
Sam & Renae wait for their next capsule. They choose #7.
SAM: We have a theory with the number seven.
SAM: Seven. . .007. . .I auditioned to be the next Bond girl. . .yeah.
Sam says the number shows up everywhere. Will it show up in their clue?
Sam & Renae watch Tyler & Nathan’s next attempt.
Nathan makes it clear their third attempt was a failure.
Jeff & Luke choose capsule #26; Sam & Renae pick #9.
Jeff & Luke are stuck waiting for their specific number as Sam & Renae go ahead of them.
Sam & Renae’s third attempt doesn’t work out. Tyler & Nathan go with #28 because it’s Nathan’s birthday.
Tyler opens the clue.
TYLER: SHUT UP!
Nathan immediately gives a thumbs up to Jeff & Luke.
And they get a thumbs up in return.
What does Tyler do next?
THROW IT TO THE GROUND!
JEFF: Tyler & Nathan gave us a thumbs up. They could just be having fun with us or they might have got it.
Yeah. So many possibilities.
It’s the latter.
Teams will drive themselves to Kings Park overlooking the city where they will find their next clue.
Back to broad daylight.
NATHAN: Those chicks live in Perth.
Yep. A classic “Locals vs. Non-Locals” TAR showdown is being set up in the final minutes of our season.
“Tyler & Nathan are on the streets. I guess they were telling the truth or they are trolling us really hard at their own personal expense.”
Tyler & Nathan hire a cab, but not just any cab. . .
It’s classic TAR Asia 5 sponsour Great Eastern.
What a pleasant fellow.
The other two teams have been at the Singapore Flyer for well over an hour at this point.
Sam & Renae are the first two people to have a nap on the Singapore Flyer.
Tyler & Nathan mock the others left behind.
Sam & Renae try another capsule. Sorry, try again. Renae proceeds to make a fart noise with her mouth and signals their bad luck to Jeff & Luke.
Tyler & Nathan are at Chingy Airport.
“I love it when you book your tickets at the counter right thurr! Right thurr!
Sorry. I mean Changi airport.
Tyler & Nathan ask two dudes in the airport for their laptop. They find a flight that departs at 9:00am and gets in at 2:05pm.
He does not like being on camera.
Why is there an emoji in the background of a weightlifter smiling and flexing his huge arms?
Tyler & Nathan are digging Firefox on Windows Vista.
Jeff & Luke prepare to make their next decision.
“Is there another lucky Chinese number you want to try, dad?”
They choose #17.
For what I presume is no other reason than the minefield of ‘X’s around their number.
Luke opens the clue.
LUKE: Fly to Perth, Australia. Once there–
Jeff is saved from becoming a zombie.
Sam & Renae are left alone.
It’s as good as any other system.
Jeff couldn’t play the same way. Not until the High Roller Excalibur is invented.
Sam opens up the clue.
SAM: Fly to Perth, Australia–
That time when you realize the hometown advantage gets to be yours for this season.
Sam does her trademark squeal.
Renae has nobody left to taunt, sadly.
Renae catches on as to why Tyler initially looked upset when he read the clue.
Renae’s blue skin and blue clothes makes her as blue as an Eiffel 65 music video.
Sam cannot stop squealing and starts running laps around the capsule.
SAM: Do you reckon we’ll get on the same flight as everybody else?
The last time that all three teams didn’t get on the same flight to the final destination city was, as far as I can remember, was. . .
TAR 10. A freakin’ long time ago. That includes the TAR Asia seasons that I have blogged about.
Very fitting that a luck based task took place on a street called Raffles Avenue.
Boarding for the flight is set for 8:50am.
It’s time for a brodown as we wait.
Sam & Renae storm the airport.
If only they could ride the Pegasus behind them to Perth.
Renae is on the phone demanding to go to Perth.
Oh c’mon. Don’t BS us. Sam & Renae are making the final flight of the season.
RENAE: Definitely full?
Oh please. Let’s get this over and done with already.
Commercial break. We resume.
SAM: There was no more seats on the first flight, so we had to take one that was half an hour later.
Actually, the flight is at 9:35am. They are going to be thirty-five minutes behind the other two teams. Their advantage has been effectively neutralized.
“And as you can see on your ticket, you have effectively been fucked over out of winning The Amazing Race.”
And we get one quick final NAB advertisement.
Grant confirms the teams being on the 2:05pm and 2:40pm flights.
The tragic green path.
And now we’re in Perth.
Also has a green path.
Tyler & Nathan and Jeff & Luke are self-driving. They split off into two different directions on the road.
Tyler & Nathan realize they messed up the very first turn out of the airport.
Nathan’s tooth gap ain’t so lucky now.
LUKE: We’re going in the opposite direction to where we need to be going. We’ve overshot our turn-off by about ten kilometres.
Jeff & Luke might be the worst pair of map readers in TAR history.
Well, other than these two.
Tyler & Nathan’s lead is quickly diminishing.
NATHAN: Time to break out a clue. Drive yourselves to Fremantle Prison.
More like a castle than a prison.
Teams must drive themselves south to Fremantle Prison. The warden will provide them with twelve sets of keys. They will search the cells on all three levels and must re-lock each cell until they find the cell containing their next clue.
The warden looks so happy.
In TAR Australia, at least they have a clue box in a brightly lit cell.
Lowell did not get the same treatment when searching for a clue on the floor of a dark prison in TAR Canada.
NATHAN: We just need to keep ahead of the girls today.
. . .And Jeff & Luke too, I presume. That’s the whole point of the final leg.
It’s 2:40pm. The final flight lands.
Sam is an airplane. Weeeee.
Sam & Renae find their car.
Renae is either bracing for Sam’s driving or just wants to flex her muscles for the camera.
Sam says it is currently 36 degrees Celsius in Perth. Feel free to disregard this knowledge.
Luke laments over taking the long way to find the clue. They find the clue box and head to Fremantle Prison.
Tyler & Nathan are now at Fremantle Prison.
“The keys are yours. The rapists are on the third floor. Have fun!”
Correction: Only four of the cells upstairs contain rapists. However, one also contains a clue box!
TYLER: There are over one hundred cells. Twelve different keys. We knew this could take a long time.
Yep, this is our third luck based task of the episode. In fact, nearly zero skill has been involved since cracking open the durian fruit or finding the Confucius clue.
Tyler unlocks a door but struggles to re-lock it.
What are you doing, Nathan? What are you doing?
Tyler starts shouting. Nathan takes over.
When using your hands doesn’t work. . .
. . .Kick the shit out of it.
Sam & Renae have the clue in the park. Now it’s time to go to Fremantle Prison. Sam says she knows exactly where it is then tells us the exact sequence as to how to drive there.
However, Luke doesn’t know this exact sequence.
LUKE: We’re going in the opposite direction.
The bronze medal is quickly becoming theirs.
LUKE I–I need you to be looking when you are driving.
JEFF: Don’t get short with me. This is not the time for it.
LUKE: Please don’t just rely on me.
JEFF: Don’t yell. Just talk to me.
LUKE: I am doing the best I can.
JEFF: Let’s do this right with each other.
JEFF: We’re racing our race.
“Racing our race? During a self-drive leg? We’re fucked!”
“Self-drive legs are a pain in the ass, Liz.”
Tyler is stuck on re-locking the first lock. The “division” between them and Sam & Renae is rapidly closing.
NATHAN: We figured out it was a different key. So. . .that was a bit of a hiccup.
The warden probably told them to avoid further damage to his cells.
Tyler uses another key.
TYLER: Are you serious?
NATHAN: We got it in the fourth door. We got lucky again.
The universe really doesn’t want Sam & Renae to win in their hometown.
Nathan reads that teams must now drive south to Cape Peron in Rockingham to find their next clue.
Cape Peron is of course named after a woman who told the citizens of Perth not to cry over her.
The inevitable Roadblock awaits.
Tyler & Nathan apologize for ruining the door.
They leave the prison without seeing a single team.
NATHAN: My motto is if you can’t do it then kick it or something like that.
That is the least catchiest motto ever.
Jeff & Luke are second to the prison. Sam & Renae join them.
“Oh, look who is over there?”
Both teams are on the same floor.
Luke wants to confirm the exact second when he falls into 3rd place.
Will it be this moment?
Nope. Not quite.
LUKE: I don’t understand this key.
You understand it more than a map, though.
Renae uses Nathan’s motto.
Tyler & Nathan are driving.
NATHAN: I wonder if we were the first team in there, dude.
TYLER: I don’t know man. It could have taken a long time. There are over a hundred frickin cells.
Dude. Man. Freakin’ dude, man.
Sam & Renae go to a floor above Jeff & Luke.
LUKE: All we could hear upstairs was door open then door slam shut.
Or it’s just Sam taking out her rage on the same door over and over again.
And as soon as a door doesn’t slam shut?
Oh gee, the reason a door isn’t slamming shut is because they have to read the clue.
JEFF: . . .They’ve just got a clue.
What a poorly designed task.
RENAE: I can see the stress on Luke’s face.
(RENAE copies LUKE’s stressed out face.)
That’s somebody when they are stressed?
Actually, she pretty much nailed it.
Jeff & Luke don’t see the exact cell in time and are forced to work their way through more doors upstairs. Luke is frustrated knowing the finish line is drawing near.
LUKE: This is crazy. I know how to open doors.
That migraine right before the finish line is going to be fun.
Commercial break. We resume. Luke realizes why he was screwing up.
Luke starting to figure out the challenge.
Jeff goes for a nice prison jog.
Sam & Renae and Tyler & Nathan are both on the road. Who will get to the next clue first?
Such nice water!
Good luck at tasks and an early flight preserves their current standing in the race.
TYLER: Nate Dogg!
NATHAN: Who won’t flag under pressure?
TYLER: Yew! Yew! Yew!
Flag under pressure? Flag?
Yep. It’s the memory challenge which every applicant in TAR US has applied for since Eric Sanchez choked in TAR 9–the flags of the countries you visited throughout the race.
I should note this was also the final memory task of TAR Asia 2 when they had their finish line at the Rainbow Bridge in Singapore.
Oddly enough, both seasons were the two classic Titan seasons which shared the same ending of ‘uber dominant team chokes at memorizing flags as next-to-most dominant team catches up and passes them at the very end’.
So yeah. Organize the flags they encountered during the race in chronological order.
Will Nathan join the club of dominant racers who absolutely choke at the flag challenge? Let’s find out.
The flags wave proudly.
It only took me 16 months to get this done.
TAR 24 could barely cover one row.
GRANT: A geography professor will hand them their next clue.
A retired geography professor, Grant.
Grant is channeling his inner Knaan at the moment.
Grant reveals that there are more than twelve flags in the pile. How many, exactly? We don’t know.
GRANT: Teams with a great memory will be one step closer to the finish.
Pretty sure it’s the final step to the finish given we have less than twenty minutes of airtime left in the finale.
TYLER: Do you know what the flags are?
Nathan doesn’t want to go down like this.
Good start, buddy!
Nevermind. That’s Poland.
Jeff & Luke eventually find the final clue in the prison.
Nathan is confident he correctly identified Israel, Sri Lanka, and Czech Republic.
I think I missed the episodes where they visited Philippines and Vanuatu.
NATHAN: The Asian countries are all so similar.
“Have you ever noticed that all Asian flags look alike?”
TYLER: Use your brain, dude.
NATHAN: Shut up, Tyler.
Tyler can’t help but be smug. He can’t even see what flags are being guessed.
I think the professor is giving Nathan a ‘F’.
Sam & Renae are second to the Roadblock. Sam is going to do it.
SAM: We memorized the countries by heart, but never thought to look at the flags.
You just thought you would have to name the countries if it was a memorization task? I understand teams not seeing any seasons of TAR Asia, but I am amazed nobody had any familiarity with the most prominent TAR US seasons in order to be properly prepared for the final Roadblock of the season.
Nathan’s professor fails him for a second time.
He is like a disappointed father.
RENAE: She’ll work it out in the end. She’s a smart girl.
Renae can’t see through the blinding sun and bamboo that Sam has just picked up the Sri Lanka flag because she thought it was Vietnam.
I think Sam and Nathan are guaranteed to watch the sunset together.
Oh my god. This isn’t happening.
Nathan sees Luke show up too.
LUKE: I remember a couple of the flags. Pretty sure the Australia ones are right. . .I got them so fast.
Luke doesn’t know the flags either. This season is going to come down to a lucky guess because nobody studied the flags throughout the season. I never expected this to happen.
This is torture for Nate. . .and the superfans too.
I think these teams would prefer the ‘Hello’ memory challenge from TAR 21.
Think think, think think think.
Sam knows the Australian and South African flags.
“Will the professor help me? Please?”
Now that’s just impressive.
NATHAN: Is Bali red and white or white and red?
This is not gonna end well for Nathan.
Nathan opts to stare at the Asian flags for a while.
Staring at them won’t make words appear on them any faster.
SAM: At least the view is nice.
All that’s missing for Sam is Luke’s biceps going to work.
LUKE: This looks more French than anything.
The Dutch will love to hear that.
Yoga music plays as Jeff meditates on the beach.
JEFF: I was just sending as much assistance from wherever it comes from when you ask for that kind of guidance.
LUKE: I wish that helped.
But it does.
Nathan says he doesn’t have enough flag poles as he talks about Hong Kong and Macau to himself.
LUKE: China from what I remember is like stars or something.
That’s good, Luke. Real good.
Commercial break. We resume as Nathan wonders where the Macau and Hong Kong flags are. At least Sam knows they are cities.
JEFF: You know what you know Luke, that’s all you can do.
LUKE: I don’t know.
JEFF: OK. There are some that you do, I imagine.
LUKE: I fucking believe I know I did the ones that I did.
JEFF: Then it’s all about computations and permutations, mate. Just trust yourself. I am with you one hundred percent. You look like a freakin’ knight in there with all of those flags.
I think Luke is getting ready to impale his dad with one of the flag poles.
LUKE: I didn’t need encouragement in there; I needed answers.
You hurt Jeff’s feelings.
Sam lifts up a pole.
SAM: Is this even a flag? C’mon people. What’s this?
I would probably cream myself if TAR went to Greenland. In other news, Greenland’s patriots officially hate Sam right now.
No one is coming remotely close.
TYLER: Just think. Use your head.
No meditation for Tyler.
He proceeds to doodle in the sand.
Nathan pauses for a moment then makes a trumpet noise.
Sam submits another guess.
All three racers are on the verge of agreeing to reach into a bag of marbles to determine who wins this season.
Nathan sorts out the confusion between Poland and Indonesia.
Oh my word. Somebody is really close to completing this task.
Now what to do with that guy?
NATHAN: I just had this vision of the Vietnam War and an army patch sewn on the side.
My god. Tyler’s coaching worked.
Nathan submits his guess.
TEACHER: Flags are correct.
“I get to go home now.”
“Duuuuuuude. . .”
This race has a habit of bringing friends closer together.
NATHAN: Drive yourself to the finish line in Heirisson Island in Perth.
Drive yourselves to the finish line? That hasn’t happened in any version of TAR that I have ever watched.
Just don’t drive your car into the water out of excitement.
Grant waits alone.
Tyler & Nathan accidentally kick sand onto everyone else’s flags as they are sprinting out of pure excitement. I have never seen a team run this fast before since Jazmine & Danielle.
Tyler says he wouldn’t have been able to complete the Roadblock.
RENAE: I am not really that worried yet.
JEFF: They’ve been pretty good at getting lost lately so we are well and truly in this race.
But. . .but that would involve you NOT getting lost, Jeff.
Tyler & Nathan discover they are driving in the wrong direction then find an information desk.
TYLER: We need to Google it.
Well that is brutal.
Tyler & Nathan start driving and expect everyone else to complete the Roadblock soon.
Sam magically starts remembering flags. She is correct.
Sam manages to hug somebody without doing her trademark squeal for the first time all season.
Sam reads the clue. They know where to go.
Will Sam & Renae be able to successfully rally from behind to get to the finish line? Self-drive is certainly the way to get it done.
This gas station may be Tyler & Nathan’s only hope.
The gigantic finger points the way.
Tyler & Nathan have enough sense to stop at the red light when they start driving again. Tyler begins hitting his steering wheel as Sam & Renae take side streets.
TYLER: You’re kidding, dude.
That steering wheel is taking a worse beating than Jonathan & Victoria.
Commercial break. We resume. We cut back and forth between the two teams. Sam says one route would lead to a bunch of traffic lights.
TYLER: You’re kidding, dude. This is hectic.
Grant has his entourage.
Mos looks like he just wants to go home.
Dave & Kelly are scheming how they can still win this thing.
You know you guys don’t have to wear matching clothes now that you are eliminated, right?
Mel stole my sister’s dog collar.
Anastasia told Chris she hated beards; Chris showed her.
Hopefully both teams can get out of the car park!
Have they been to Perth before?
Never change, Richard & Joey.
A billion more cuts later and a team finally emerges.
Sorry y’all, no crazy self-driving upsets.
Ryot is stoked.
GRANT: 12 countries, 23 cities, and over 40, 000 kilometres. . .you are the winners of the first ever Amazing Race Australia.
“I love you, man!”
WINNERS: TYLER & NATHAN
Grant reminds them of the 250k.
NATHAN: This is so heavy. What are we even gonna do with that.
GRANT: You’ll think of something.
“I know a few after parties in Perth we can hit up tonight.”
Grant asks them what their favourite part about the race was.
NATHAN: Everything. . .Even the lows. Getting robbed.
We cut to a confessional.
NATHAN: Tyler and I just won The Amazing Race Australia. We’re so stoked and over the moon.
TYLER: We’re just so pumped to be number one.
God these guys remind you they are surfers every now and then.
Meanwhile, Luke toys with the permutations until he finally gets it right.
The professor draped in the Australian flag will soon be wearing it permanently as a cape.
Luke’s voice couldn’t sound more disappointed as he reads the first team to arrive will win 250k Aussie Dollars.
It’s dark outside which means Tyler & Nathan won this leg by a considerable margin.
“Are we number one?”
SECOND PLACE: SAM & RENAE
GRANT: Very beautifully run race. Welcome home.
Way to remind them that they choked in their hometown advantage, Grant.
Sam & Renae compliment Tyler & Nathan’s victory and appreciate the experience.
Dave & Kelly seem so segregated.
THIRD PLACE: JEFF & LUKE
It’s like finishing a marathon.
Jeff & Luke talk about being much closer as father and son.
They physically couldn’t be closer.
Much like TAR Asia’s winners, Tyler & Nathan get to have a highlight reel of them hugging and smiling throughout the race.
TYLER: It’s just amazing.
Those are the winner’s final words?
And the final highlight is of them mocking Richard & Joey.
We cut back to the mat.
GRANT: C’mon up.
Nevermind, those are the final words.
Oh, is this where we get the traditional “everyone smile and clap as they look towards the camera” finishing shot?
Nope. Just mass disorganization as Chris dips Anne-Marie in our final shot.
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) Colombo, Sri Lanka -> Singapore, Singapore -> Perth, Australia
This finale was difficult to rank because there are things that production did a perfect job at but also things where they royally fucked up.
Self-drive all throughout the final destination city.
A memory challenge that nobody was somehow not prepared for which made the championship up for grabs.
An extended finale which allowed for multiple destinations in the final leg and not short-changing the number of tasks in the final destination city.
Jeff & Luke were entertaining.
A luck task at the Singapore Flyer determined which two teams had a thirty minute advantage.
The Confucius task at the TAR Asia 2 finish line was able to be solved by luck rather than knowing what the hell you needed to do.
Per usual, too much overlap with things done in TAR Asia minus the Caltex gas stations.
The prison cell task which also had about ninety percent luck and ten percent not kicking in the cell doors.
Now to the conclusion of the narrative itself.
Jeff & Luke’s personalities shined through this episode. I know this is going to be a controversial opinion, but they were more entertaining to watch than Tyler & Nathan this round.
It was painful to see Sam & Renae get screwed over by the bad luck in Singapore, but the combination of having homefield advantage and not bothering to study the national flags didn’t make me feel so bad about them losing in the end.
The Chinese fortune teller was a fun break from the intensity of the finale. It provided a lot of comedic material for me. Oh, and those samurai opera performers who had to smell racers cutting durian fruit.
The narrative of Jeff & Luke being terrible at directions, Sam & Renae’s perseverance, and Tyler & Nathan maximizing every opportunity provided to them to get ahead from day one all came together in the end.
Out of all of the finales I have ever seen, I can’t recall one where everything went Tyler & Nathan’s way while the other two teams were stumbling at every step possible. . .except for the flag challenge. I think the finale would have benefited from Nathan choking at the last possible task, but I can live with how this season ended. Tyler & Nathan played a perfect social game to get them to the winner’s circle.
It truly was a finale that made you cringe but also proud at the same time. Therefore, these two extremes cancel out for a neutral attitude towards this episode.
10) 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.
11) 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.
12) 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) Sam Schoers & Renae Wauhop
So close, Sam & Renae. So close.
There was so much more to Sam & Renae than just being that all-female team competing with a bunch of men at the end of the season. No, they deserve so much more than that.
Usually all-female teams who are labeled as models are projected to be eliminated early.
For example, Jessica & Brittany were supposed to go home first in TAR 28. When they made it all the way to a whopping 9th place finish for the season, producers approached them after their elimination saying “you did so much better than we thought!”
As you can see, models don’t have a high ceiling in TAR.
Therefore it was refreshing to establish very quickly that Sam & Renae demonstrated they had different skills. Sam loves adrenaline and heights. Renae has experience dealing with automobiles. They never like to slow down and push a fast pace.
They joined a very small crew of all-female teams to win the first leg of the season. They also hold the distinction of being the only team to truly save themselves with a proper use of the Express Pass.
Sam & Renae also had memorable mannerisms. Sam’s SQUEEEEEEEs, referring to Renae as bubba, suffering two cases of unintentional sabotage by Matt & Tom and Jeff & Luke, the police escort, Sam messing up the Match Your Teammate questions, getting lost in Tel Aviv, and being at Anastasia’s mercy at the second Intersection as well as being at Mo & Mos’ mercy at the first Intersection.
They were perhaps the only team truly capable of taking down Tyler & Nathan in the final leg, but failure to study national flags was the difference between them winning and losing this season.
Yes, they had some bad breaks and even required a NEL to be saved due to a lack of equalizers in Jerusalem, but that’s part of the fun with Sam & Renae.
I loved how a sewing challenge was required for them to avoid incurring the Marked for Elimination penalty against three all-male teams in Sri Lanka. That gave me a good chuckle.
6) 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!
7) Tyler Atkins & Nathan Joliffe
You’ve got to be kidding–a team who got robbed was able to battle back in a self-drive heavy season and win it all without ever being targeted?
Many all-male dominant teams have lacked a story or just weren’t terribly entertaining to watch.
Luckily, Tyler & Nathan don’t really fall into this category.
Tyler & Nathan began as the competitive powerhouse who were winning legs and using the only U-Turn of the race to eliminate early villains #FocusBelieveAchievers Richard & Joey. I don’t know if this move is the reason why everybody started working with them, but somehow a competitive move led to them being the most popular team in the race. Every single round they would receive information from another team.
At a crucial juncture in the race, Tyler & Nathan lose all of their money thanks to European train robbers. After winning many legs and demonstrating that they have almost no weaknesses, this was the perfect time for everybody to get Tyler & Nathan out. Self-drive legs required the purchase of maps, and since Tyler & Nathan were so poor that they had to beg for money from locals to get out of paid parking lots, they should have been screwed.
However, Jeff & Luke would “help” them with maps. Tyler & Nathan were so desperate that they had no choice but to tag along with Jeff & Luke just to have a shot at reaching the next destination.
Furthermore, Sam & Renae would frequently team up with Tyler & Nathan when it came to travel or many of the tasks.
In hindsight, teams are probably kicking themselves for helping Tyler & Nathan so much throughout the season–but they did it anyway.
Tyler & Nathan finish this season with a 2.25 team average, four leg wins, and are super stoked about it.
For a team that was the projected pre-season betting favourite to win, Tyler & Nathan weren’t as one-dimensional or as boring as we thought they would be. Kudos, boys.
8) 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.
9) 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.
10) Jeff Downes & Luke Downes
I know people who think Jeff & Luke were absolutely boring and dreadful from start to finish.
As for me? I don’t quite agree with that. Yeah, they weren’t A+ characters but they would be better than the majority of the teams between TAR 14-16.
Jeff & Luke had unique personalities to watch. Jeff was a rare breed of older racers who used older expressions and acted like that uncle who probably spends most of the time sitting in his study reading books and speaking in an overly eloquent manner to impress the viewers.
Jeff was also the type of old man who pretended not to be as senile as he really was. He couldn’t read a map to save his life, follow simple instructions to write Hebrew letters, or correctly tell time, and in all of these occasions he found a way to deflect his lack of knowledge in all three areas.
In fact, it is one of my favourite subplots of the season.
And Luke played off of all of Jeff’s antics really well. I really want to see Luke battle his dad in a one-on-one map reading challenge. It would be a great bonus feature for when the TAR Australia 1 DVD never gets released.
Yes, they are ranked 10th out of all of the teams this season, but it is a strong 10th.
11) 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.
Bulls–t Round One/Starting Line Eliminations That Do Not Count
Eric & Lisa N/A
Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0 TAR 4
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0 TAR 3
11th Ron & Tony 11.0 TAR 17
11th Adrian & Dana 11.0 TAR 16
11th Preston & Jennifer 11.0 TAR 14
11th Anita & Arthur 11.0 TAR 13
11th Ari & Staella 11.0 TAR 12
11th John Vito & Jill All Stars 11.0 TAR 11
11th Vipul & Arti 11.0 TAR 10
11th John & Scott 11.0 TAR 9
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0 TAR 7
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0 TAR 6
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0 TAR 5
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0 TAR 2
11th Matt & Ana 11.0 TAR 1
10th Edwin & Monica 10.0 Only team to finish last for the first two rounds of the race TAR Asia 3
10th Yani & Nadine 10.0 Would have survived round two, but were marked for elimination and thus officially finished in last both rounds TAR Asia 4
10th Jody & Shannon 10.0 TAR Adventure 16
10th Lisa & Joni 10.0 TAR 9
10th Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0 TAR 11
10th Neena & Amit 10.0 TAR Asia 3
10th A Black Family 10.0 TAR 8
— F +–
10th Andie & Jenna 9.5 TAR 17
10th Steve & Linda 9.5 TAR 14
10th Anthony & Stephanie 9.5 (Why them?????) TAR 13
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.) TAR 7
11th Garrett & Jessica 9.5 TAR 15
10th Kate & Pat 9.0 TAR 12
9th David & Mary TAR 11: All Stars 9.0 TAR 11
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0 May or may not be gutsy. TAR 2
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0 TAR 6
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF TAR 3
10th Anne-Marie & Tracy 8.67 TAR Australia 1
8th Mo & Mos 8.60 Saved by NEL once TAR Australia 1
10th Mel & Mike 8.33 Mel died. TAR 18
9th Marianna & Julia 8.33 TAR 12
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33 TAR 4
8th Don & Mary Jean 8.2 Saved by NEL once TAR 6
10th Kellie & Jamie 8.0 TAR 10
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0 TAR 1
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8 Yielded TAR 9
9th Jaime & Cara 7.8 U-Turned and Used U-Turn TAR 18
8th Marisa & Brooke 7.75 Sucked. TAR 13
7th Mika & Canaan 7.67 Why the heck did they sign up? TAR 15
9th Marcy & Ron 7.67 Bald. TAR 15
9th Isaac & William 7.5 TAR Asia 3
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33 TAR 5
9th Richard & Joey 7.25 U-Turned once TAR Australia 1
9th Alan & Wendy 7.25 Saved by NEL once TAR Asia 4
8th Manas & Sahil 7.0 TAR Asia 4
8th Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia 7.0 (French Born Aurelia sadly does not know the English words for ‘team averages’. :/) TAR Asia 2
8th Aiello Family 7.0 TAR 8
8th Tom & Terry 7.0 TAR 10
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0 R.I.P. Margaretta TAR 1
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0 Producers refused to hay bail them. TAR 6
10th Hope & Norm 7.0 TAR 2
11th Ryot & Liberty 7.0 TAR Australia 1
7th Christie & Jodi 6.67 Saved by NEL TAR 14
9th Brad & Victoria 6.67 TAR 14
7th Niroo & Kapil 6.75 TAR Asia 3
7th Alana & Mel 6.67 TAR Australia 1
6th Maria & Tiffany 6.57 Saved by NEL once and Justin’s blunder again TAR 15
9th Rogers Family 6.5 R.I.P. Renee. TAR 8
8th Susan & Patrick 6.5 TAR 7
11th Amanda & Kris 6.5 TAR 18 Automatic U-Turned.
6th Henry & Terri 6.44 Used Their Yield; Saved by a non-elimination round THREE times. R.I.P. Henry. TAR Asia 2
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43 Saved by NEL once TAR 1
8th Margie & Luke 6.4 TAR 18
9th Brett & Kinar 6.33 Rocky finish. TAR Asia 2
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 6.33 TAR Asia 1
8th Pailin & Natalie 6.33 TAR Asia 3
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25 TAR 9
7th Aja & Cabbie 6.2 TAR 13
7th Paul & Amie 6.2 TAR 1
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF TAR 4
6th David &Mary 6.13 FF Saved by NEL once TAR 10
5th Kent & Vyxsin 6.0 Used U-Turn and Saved by NEL once TAR 18
7th Ron & Christina 6.0 TAR 18
8th Lance & Keri 6.0 TAR 15
9th Zev & Justin 6.0 Passport lost. TAR 15
10th Ernie & Jeena 6.0 TAR Asia 1
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0 TAR 4
6th Andre & Damon 5.86 TAR 3
7th Daichi & Sawaka 5.83 TAR Asia 2
7th Dave & Lori 5.83 Saved by NEL once TAR 9
5th Kami & Karli 5.8 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8 TAR 3
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8 TAR 2
7th Shana & Jennifer 5.8 Used U-Turn TAR 12
9th Heather & Eve 5.75 Legal team beaten by rule book. TAR 3
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67 R.I.P. Nancy. Saved by NEL once. TAR 1
7th Jeff & Jordan 5.67. Saved by a stupid Blind U-Turn once but dead next day. TAR 16
6th Gaghan Family 5.5 TAR 8
10th Alison & Donny 5.5 TAR 5
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF TAR 4
8th Sahil & Prashant 5.4 FF. Beaten by a bunch of rules. TAR Asia 1
8th Katie & Rachel 5.4 Had all of the tools to finish with a 5.4 ratio TAR 17
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36 Saved by NEL twice TAR 7
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF TAR 4
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33 TAR 5
9th Monique & Shawne 5.33 TAR 16. Praise Jesus.
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33 TAR 7
7th KevJumba & Michael 5.29 TAR 17. NEL once + Heather & Eve Syndrome.
7th Gus & Hera 5.29 TAR 6
4th Nick & Vicki 5.27 TAR 17 Saved by NEL twice
6th Joe & Bill All Stars 5.25 Saved by NEL once TAR 11
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25 TAR 5
8th Lorena & Jason 5.25 U-Turned TAR 12
5th Mark & Michael 5.22 Saved by NEL once but came up just short TAR 14
3rd Andrew & Dan 5.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 13
7th Silver & Gold/ Wil & Grace 5.17 TAR 3
6th Kelly & Christy 5.14 TAR 13
5th Chad & Stephanie 5.11 U-Turned TAR 17
7th Ray & Deana 5.0 FF TAR 7
7th Melody & Sharon 5.0. Screwed over by weird penalty for another team. TAR Asia 1
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 FF TAR 4
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 FF TAR 1
9th Mark & Bill 5.0 Wah. TAR 13
5th Fran & Barry 4.89 TAR 9
6th Howard & Sahran 4.88 TAR Asia 1
–C + —
3rd Lyn & Karlyn 4.85 – Yielded TAR 10
7th Ivan & Hilda 4.83 TAR Asia 4
7th Teri & Ian All Stars 4.83 TAR 11
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF and saved by NEL once TAR 3
6th Mai & Oliver 4.8 In a car TAR Asia 3
7th Schroeder Family 4.75 TAR 8
9th Connor & Jonathan 4.75 TAR 17
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71 – Used Yield TAR 9
6th Brian & Greg 4.71 TAR 7
5th Erwin & Godwin 4.70 TAR 10
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF and Used Yield and Yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 6
9th Duke & Lauren 4.67 TAR 10
3rd Hussein & Natasha Saved by 4.64 NEL once TAR Asia 4
6th Gary & Mallory 4.625 TAR 17
5th Lori & Bolo 4.6 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 6
6th Jet & Cord 4.56 – U-Turned, saved by NEL once TAR 18
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF TAR 3
6th Chris & Anastasia 4.50 TAR Australia 1
8th Kris & Jo–er, Amanda 4.50 U-Turned TAR 14
5th Paula & Natasha 4.45 saved by NEL once TAR Asia 2
4th Louie & Michael 4.36 saved by NEL once, used U-Turn. & trained wolf cubs TAR 16
5th Uchenna & Joyce All Stars 4.33 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 11
8th Joe & Heidi 4.40 – Blind U-Turned with Injured Knee; TAR 16
1st Dan & Jordan 4.33 – FF once TAR 16
3rd Brent & Caite 4.33 – Used U-Turn TAR 16
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
2nd Sam & Renae 4.083 Saved by NEL once and Used Express Pass 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
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
3rd Ron & Kelly 3.00 – Yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 7
3rd Jill & Thomas 3.00 – Used U-Turn once and Used Express Pass TAR 17
6th Azaria & Hendekea 3.00 – TAR 12
4th Hayden & Aaron 2.92 – Saved by NEL once TAR 6
2nd Dustin & Kandice All Stars 2.92 – Used Yield TAR 10
2nd Bransen Family 2.85 – Saved by NEL once TAR 8
1st Linz Family 2.77 – Used Yield TAR 8
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 1
–BEST OF THE BEST–
3rd Margie & Luke 2.75 Used U-Turn once TAR 14
5th Henry & Bernie/Bunn-Eh 2.75 – Yielded TAR Asia 3
8th Rob & Amber All Stars 2.75 – Used Yield, Choked TAR 11
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 3
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF TAR 3
4th Oswald & Danny All Stars 2.67 FF x2, Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR 11
2nd Ken & Tina 2.64 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 13
2nd Jet & Cord 2.58 – Saved by NEL once TAR 16.
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF, Yielded, and saved by NEL once TAR 5
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF TAR 2
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF TAR 1
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF, Used Yield, and saved by NEL twice TAR 9
1st Vince & Sam 2.45 FF TAR Asia 3
1st Nick & Starr 2.45 FF TAR 13
1st Tyler & James – 2.38 FF TAR 10
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF TAR 1
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38 TAR 6
1st Tammy & Victor 2.33 Used U-Turn Once TAR 14
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31 TAR 7
1st Richard & Richard 2.27 FF TAR Asia 4
1st Tyler & Nathan 2.25 Used U-Turn TAR Australia 1
1st Adrian & Collin 2.23 FF TAR Asia 2
1st Meghan & Cheyne 2.00 FF TAR 15
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF TAR 9
lol 3rd Marc & Rovilson 1.46 Used Yield and Yielded TAR Asia 2
Combined Team Averages (Repeats Only)
11 legs David & Mary 6.91 FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 10 + 11
11 legs John Vito & Jill 5.36 FF, saved by NEL once TAR 3 + 11
6 legs (lol) Amanda & Kris 5.17 U-Turned twice TAR 14 + 18
17 legs Jaime & Cara 5.06 Used U-Turn and U-Turned TAR 14 + 18
10 legs Mel & Mike 5.00 TAR 14 + 18
18 legs Kent & Vyxsin 4.94 Used U-Turn Twice, Saved by NEL twice TAR 12 + 18
18 legs Danielle 4.78 yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
19 legs Teri & Ian 4.63 FF TAR 3 + 11
18 legs Ron & Christina 4.44 TAR 12 + 18
13 legs Kevin & Drew 4.38 FF TAR 1 + 11
20 legs Charla & Mirna 4.00 TAR 5 + 11
16 legs Zev & Justin 3.875 TAR 15 + 18
20 legs Gary & Mallory 3.80 Saved by NEL once, Used Express Pass TAR 17 + 18
23 legs Kisha & Jen 3.78 Saved by NEL once and U-Turned once TAR 14 + 18
21 legs Joe & Bill 3.71 FF, saved by NEL thrice TAR 1 + 11
22 legs Uchenna & Joyce 3.64 FF x2, saved by NEL twice TAR 7 + 11
18 legs Margie & Luke 3.61 Used U-Turn TAR 14 + 18
*31 legs Eric & Danielle 3.48 FF, yielded x3, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
21 legs Jet & Cord 3.43 Saved by NEL twice, U-Turned TAR 16 + 18
23 legs Herb & Nate 3.43 Used U-Turn once and U-Turned once TAR 15 + 18
23 legs Oswald & Danny 3.30 FF x3, used Yield, saved by NEL twice TAR 2 + 11
25 legs Dustin & Kandice 3.04 used Yield twice, saved by NEL once TAR 10 + 11
26 legs Eric 2.65 FF, Yielded x2, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 Used Yield TAR 7 + 11
* I determined Eric & Danielle’s average in this last section by adding up all of their individual points from TAR 9, then adding up their total points in All Stars and dividing it by 31.
1. The Amazing Race 5 – 9.2/10
“After a year off the air, and TAR comes back with its most epic race course ever. Producers put all of their chips on the table like UFC owners did with The Ultimate Fighter 1, and the payoff was enormous.
We had TAR 6 and 7 green-lighted, produced, and aired less than ten months after TAR 5 did. Everyone and their mother was talking about what was going on in TAR 5 throughout the summer.
The two teams you wanted out the most were gone in the first two episodes. The second team did so by repeating Amanda & Chris’ feat from TAR 4.
The most format changes until TAR 12 would take place for this season as producers wanted to give viewers a new feel to the series. Not the least of which was the beginning of the Yield which began the tradition of allowing one team to flip off another team and shove them into the dirt for a pre-determined amount of time. What was even better is that the Yield was offered -every- round. Unlike today where U-Turns only appear twice or thrice per season.
Colin & Christie, Chip & Kim, and Charla & Mirna are three of the ten biggest characters in TAR history. We were amazed to see them all be cast for the same freakin’ season. Because they all made it at least halfway through the game, there was never a dull moment.
Include a supporting cast of Marshall & Lance, Bob & Joyce, Jim & Marsha, Bowling Moms, and the antics of twins Kamkar made for a top of the line cast.
It is a crime that neither Colin & Christie nor Chip & Kim have been brought back. Colin & Christie did not compete in TAR 11 because Christie was pregnant.
So was she pregnant during TAR 18 and TAR 24 too? Where was Charla & Mirna’s invite for TAR 24? Where are Chip & Kim’s invites, too?
These three teams made headlines all season long to the point that Charla & Mirna were incorporated into numerous TV sketch parodies for the following year. They were the face of TAR for season five, and returned to be the faces for TAR 11. Again, how did the Globetrotters, Cowboys, and Margie & Luke play three times instead of them?
Oh, the route? Incredible. It holds a permanent record of being the best route of any TAR season. Argentina to Russia to Egypt to Tanzania to Dubai to India to New Zealand sends chills down my spine.
I mean, they went to freakin Egypt. Can we just give it a nine for that alone?
So why is it not a ten? They eliminated my favourite twist known as the weekly Fast Forward starting with this season, Brandon & Nicole survived for nine rounds too long, Colin didn’t actually get thrown in jail for the night in Tanzania, and Kamkar didn’t fall off the map for their stupidity.
Caviar, chocolate, and eggs also makes for too many Roadblocks involving local delicacies.
P.S. A TAR book was named after a Colin quote from this season. How is this not number one?
EDIT: My Ox is Broken returned in the tenth round of TAR 25.
2. The Amazing Race 12 – 9.0/10
You want to fix the worst problems with TAR, but have your first new cast after All Stars be a bunch of people from California? This season could have gone down as a failure.
But it worked against all pre-game logic. Cutting down on non-eliminations, experimentation with U-Turns and Speed Bumps, new players, fewer rounds of play, shorter rounds, and eccentric old people made for a really fun season of television. This was the most popular season of TAR in terms of US ratings.
Annoying and useless teams went home first, but the villains rightfully went home in the penultimate round.
Sprinkle in a couple of stars along the way, and you have a very feel-good season. Feel-good television typically does not apply to fierce competitions like TAR and Survivor. But really, it is very relaxing. It is the ideal season for a re-watch.
The final Roadblock task is considered the best final task ever done in TAR history. A difficult brain teaser combined with remembering what happened on the race is all that is needed to satisfy viewers.
Sure, you may find the winners likeable but boring, but look at the winners we have on the horizon until TAR 16’s amazing upset.
I love that players approaching seventy years old can find success in TAR, and not be super entitled about it. I love that some racers have their personalities change throughout the course of the season. I love that a sibling team you thought would win every round would instead get eliminated halfway through in a big upset.
Along with TAR 5 and TAR 9, it was responsible for helping the series recover and gain its primetime hold. There may not be any -huge- moments, but just a fun race course that will make you laugh, smile, and sit back along the way.”
3. The Amazing Race 7 – 8.8/10
Wedged between TAR 6 and TAR 8: Family Edition, TAR 7 really needed to deliver.
The stakes of the non-elimination penalties were raised, and production intentionally set up intense foot races to avoid being last at the mat.
Villains were known even before the game began as Rob & Amber came off their boring stint on Survivor: All Stars to potentially corrupt TAR.
They annoyed most of us with exploiting Danny & Oswald’s Fern strategy by combining it with their temporary celebrity status. They were essentially the precursor to the Harlem Globetrotters Strategy except Romber were a bit better when working on their own compared to the Globetrotters.
Ray’s rivalry with the elderly, the Mendoza Meat Roadblock, The Legend of Brian & Greg, the car crash, head shaving and other over-the-top India adventures, and old people falling in underground caves contributed to a memorable season.
But it was all topped by the season finale. Uchenna & Joyce had nothing in the middle of a third world country after coming last in the shortest leg in TAR’s seven season history. They begged and begged and begged for resources until they had enough to get out of the country. Somehow they make up a 200 hour time deficit and get on the same flight as Romber to Miami.
Uchenna & Joyce miraculously build up one of their rare leads when it mattered most-the final destination city before realizing they could not pay their cab at the finish line. What ensued was one of the craziest scrambles ever as viewers were ready to torch CBS Studios if Romber would casually stroll by a frantic Uchenna & Joyce to win the game.
A great finish truly makes a worldly difference in competitions. TAR 7 is no exception.”
4. The Amazing Race 3 – 8.7/10
“Ah, the beginning of my obsession with Survivor, TAR, and The Mole. Survivor Thailand, The Mole 2, and here we have TAR 3 all airing close to simultaneously.
It has been close to three years since I last watched this season, but before that I watched it at least once per year. The only reason why it is not number one is because it had too many equalizers, and I have yet to decide whether I love or hated that the ending to the season trolled me.
Epic Flat Tires.
Tramel & Talicia’s lone celebration.
The fall of Heather & Eve.
The fall of Gerard on a punt.
A cop is placed under arrest.
Michael “213” & Kathy.
The heroics of John Vito & Jill.
The emotional and racing turnaround of Ian & Teri.
Just two of these elements in any season would be great. But here in TAR 3 we were spoiled as all of these went down in the span of thirteen rounds.
I will forever remember being in the sixth grade and having my classmates and teacher watch Heather & Eve’s humiliation for all of us to re-watch. I still have a copy of the tape I specifically brought to class that day.”
5. The Amazing Race 17 – 8.65/10
If producers of ageing competitive reality shows need to know what it takes to make a strong season after being on the air for a decade and having done so many seasons before, this is the quality you are still capable of reaching.
When I was in high school, a mark of 86% or higher was considered an ‘A’. I think TAR 17 is worthy of this grade.
The only reason I put this above TAR 9 is because while Eric & Jeremy vs. BJ & Tyler may be one of my favourite rivalries with an overall fantastic conclusion as the hippies take the prize, TAR 17 had a bit more depth to its cast.
Brook & Claire, Nat & Kat, Nick & Vicki, Chad & Stephanie, and Gary & Mallory with a couple of other teams in the supporting role makes for an insane cast to have squished into one season.
With only one team going on record to return to play again, this makes TAR 17 an overall hidden gem of the series. There is so much more to it than just being “the first time an American all-female team won”.
Visits to Ghana, the Arctic Circle, Bangladesh, and a hilarious round in Hong Kong made for the best route designed since TAR 12. Seriously, TAR 14-16 had the least inspired race courses, and TAR 17 decided not to fall into a rut.
Watermelons to the face, car slices to the eye, apples being bitten, shoes being smelled, testicles being crushed, butts falling on ice, and YouTubers having dreams crushed all made for a hilarious season.
There was also a high level of penalties this season which is unusual for TAR US. Heck, it is in that mid-range of penalties with TAR Canada 3.
So why does this season not get ranked any higher regardless of a great cast, worthy all-female teams, and a wonderful route?
Well, there is a couple of mistakes producers make.
a) The start of the modern day Express Pass. It was irrelevant in TAR 17, and am happy people like Hamilton & Michaelia are saying it is also irrelevant now.
b) The first leg in St. Petersburg was such a mess for producers to the point they intentionally equalized everybody in the following round, and erased Nick & Vicki’s Speed Bump. That is sloppy for TAR standards.
c) The last couple of legs were not exciting, and Los Angeles is a lousy place to finish a season.
Overall, this is the last truly great season TAR US will produce for a long time, and thank god we had something to break the awful trend of seasons between TAR 14-16. Ratings were at its lowest point after TAR 16, and TAR 17 is exactly what was needed for the series to be recognized as a mainstream hit. The praise for TAR 17 will be so strong that the audience will continue to follow the series until producers lose their trust with TAR 24.
It is amazing to think out of all twenty-six US seasons that this is the season I followed the least during its original airing. Oh well. That’s what happens when TAR 14 and the premiere of TAR 15 temporarily killed my spirit.
6. The Amazing Race 9 – 8.6/10
“Perhaps the most unexpected pre-All Star season to do well. Coming off of Family Edition which pushed the show to 10:00pm timeslot and inevitable death, TAR was close to being written off.
Much like TAR 5 and TAR 12, TAR 9 is right up there for saving the series. Greece, Sicily, Moscow, Oman, and Tokyo all delivered with their respective debuts. This season was really the story of two teams having one epic season long showdown. Sure, Fran & Barry, Lake & Michelle, and Ray & Janet Jackson were decent supporting characters, but Eric & Doug Roobaker versus BJ & Tyler is what we all remember.
Not John & Scott, and MoJo, surprisingly.
BJ & Tyler are pretty much the Tom Westman of TAR. Ninety percent of all viewers absolutely loved them, and everyone always says ‘my favourite season? That one with the hippies’.
Editors embraced the 10:00pm timeslot as this season had some of the most mature content ever released, but also happened to be a season long comedy show. Fran & Barry’s missed clues, Lake’s yelling, 24th greatest team of all-time Lisa & Joni’s run (with full bladders nonetheless), Dani & Danielle not knowing they were terrible, Dave & Lori’s adorable nerdiness, and locals enjoying their interactions with teams.
Shockingly, Mugged for Elimination would end with this season despite it being the most entertaining Mugged for Eliminations ever where BJ truly had no clothes. It is parallel to Exile Island ending immediately after Coach went there in Survivor: Tocantins. Exile Island could not top Coach’s presence just like how Mugged for Elimination could not be topped by BJ just trying to find some freakin’ pants.
EDIT: San Juan Del Sur brought back Exile Island a few months ago. Sorry Coach.
This features the second most exciting finish in TAR history. Eric & Jeremy are ahead at the final task. All you have to do is match up several flags in the order you visited them. In a Rovilson-like fashion, Eric chokes as BJ passes him with the finish line in plain sight.
It was easily the most exciting moment that the state of Colorado had ever seen.
Lastly, Doug Roobaker may be my favourite moment in TAR history.”
7. The Amazing Race 2 – 8.5/10
“Sadly this is the season I have seen the least, but that does not stop it from getting a high rating.
Sure, the route was lame considering how much overlap it had with the original, but we saw a ton of new and neat locations. TAR was not quite out of the documentary stage yet as we saw raw travel footage. This is reality TV nostalgia right here along with TAR 3.
Shola & Doyin were the original tragic characters as nothing would go their way, Tara & Wil may be the biggest jackasses to ever dominate the race, and the beginning of Metrosexual Loners Danny & Oswald. Remember Fern?
A ton of crazy things happen despite it being only the second season. The Africa drunken pit stop fight between Pastor Russell, Wil the Jackass, and Alex the Slightly Less of a Jackass? Gutsy Grannies being the original players to sleep through their pit start but somehow surviving two eliminations as well as being the only team to enter Europe all season (not wise to connect through a city in a continent that producers are not visiting in your season), the Blake & Paige/Hope & Norm car controversy, and lastly. . .it deserves its own paragraphs.
The most talked about final twenty minutes in perhaps any reality TV season. The love triangle of Tara, Wil, and Alex finally facing off for a million bucks. Chris & Alex have done terrible most of the season. They had been saved by non-elimination twice because Wil screwed them over. Tara & Wil meanwhile showed nice guys can GTFO as they had few problems staying ahead of the competition, and Tara manipulating Chris & Alex for a good chunk of the race.
Then everything leading up to Baker’s Circle, and concluding with the most iconic foot race to end a worldwide marathon. You have undoubtedly seen the footage 20, 000 times as TAR bashes you over the head with it. Chris & Alex were disliked for 95% of the season, but their reputation turned around in a matter of ten minutes of exciting television.”
8. The Amazing Race 11: Real All Stars – 7.2/10
“The best all-star format of any season seen in Survivor, Big Brother, and TAR history. Phil submitted a list of fifteen teams that he would love to see again. They were either really popular and/or really skilled. Production picked ten of these teams, and added the hybrid team of Eric & Danielle because Eric & Jeremy would have had a 1.10 race average if they competed.
Would we love to see a winning team from each season, and two Linz teams to have an eleven-team all winners edition? Absolutely. Would we have loved to see each season represented including Lance Bass? Absolutely. But for what reputation Survivor and Big Brother had with their all-star seasons, what TAR gave us was very fair and above average.
The route, the tasks, the travel, the stories, and the characters all collided for a season that for some odd reason was not well liked by the audience. Perhaps the LGBTQ community was pissed a Frat boy managed to whip an all-male gay team and two all-female teams at Final Four. Also, this Frat boy had a partner who was viewed as spoiled and worthless (she did get 500k for her “efforts”).
Compared to casting for TAR 18 and 24, this all-star had the only true all-star cast of the entire series. None of the choices evoked a “Mary Who?” response, and catching up with our original stars along with new frontrunners made for an interesting clash.
It truly marks the end of an era as many familiar format rituals will be disregarded almost immediately after the season is over (Yields, Intersection, four NELs, 13 rounds, Marked for Elimination, multiple final cities in final leg, non-memory final tasks, etc.).
This is what makes TAR 11: Real All Stars such a great season. It effectively wraps up the core of the TAR franchise, and closes the chapter on some of the most important reality TV characters who can pat themselves on the shoulders for preventing TAR’s cancellation.
I urge the many people who view this as a bad season to re-watch and think about everything TAR accomplished because of the people playing, and enjoy the insane Africa rounds. Also, please appreciate Eric a bit more. Otherwise, there is no hope for you.”
9. The Amazing Race Asia 2 – 7.19/10
The golden season for the Asia series. Producers went all out for this season, and boy oh boy, they were rewarded for it. Adrian may be the most badass contestant we have had to race with a disability (Luke could learn from Adrian), and go on to win.
Until David O’ Leary suffered from Crybabyitis, that is.
Producers learned from their mistakes in TAR Asia 1 except for the part where they once again were stuffing the race with five non-eliminations.
Perhaps a case could be made that Marc & Rovilson were too rich/well-travelled/athletic/good at everything except flags for them to be allowed onto the race.
Put that aside and you have a base for what separates good seasons from great seasons. Anything above a 7.0 is a -great- season to me.
Seeing Marc & Rovilson dominate, er, I mean SLAUGHTER everyone for 80% of the race until Adrian & Collin began to rally, and top it all off with Adrian passing Marc & Rovilson at the final task had an incredible payoff. Oh, and Pamela & Vanessa passing Marc & Rovilson at the final task too equated to the biggest choke in TAR history.
Later on we would see Czech Republic make its debut even before TAR 15 could get there, and certain places in South Africa we had never seen before.
We also were exposed to the only team in TAR history to truly finish in dead last in back-to-back legs at the beginning of the season. Somehow those two were not named Henry & Terri, who were a different team that were saved by three non-eliminations as Terri may be one of the most uncooperative racers ever.
Paula & Natasha were a rare combination of being young, all-female, nerds, and doing well in the race.
We also had two mothers from Malaysia (Ann & Diane) become the villains in the eyes of the other racers as them, Pamela & Vanessa, and Paula & Natasha made it very possible for an all-female team to win yet again in TAR Asia. In fact, they are three of the strongest all-female teams in the entire TAR franchise.
Lastly, the first four rounds were single-handedly carried by French Born Aurelia as we ventured through familiar New Zealand and Philippines. Seriously. Watch the season just for French Born Aurelia alone. I cannot even come up with the French word for why she is amazing.
10. The Amazing Race Australia 1 – 7.1/10
We also saw multiple Intersections in the same season. The first and only proven use of the Express Pass that saved a team. A season where only one U-Turn was available. The revival of having multiple destinations in the final leg. Unique penalties.
Those were the unique aspects of TAR Aussie’s debut.
This season’s biggest strengths were visiting Israel, lots of self-drive legs, and excellent casting.
In contrast to TAR US casting minor celebrities and pro athletes in recent years, TAR Australia went with everyday people.
Anne-Marie & Tracy work in a freakin’ supermarket, Renae is a model who fixes cars, Alana & Mel were sisters who hadn’t seen each other in a very long time and have polar opposite personalities, Mo & Mos were a Muslim team that lasted more than one leg, and we had a middle-aged motorcycling couple that were perceived as devious.
Oh, and cowboys who weren’t total douchebags and who also had no idea what a bagel was.
We also had one of the best early boots of all time in the form of FOCUS! BELIEVE! ACHIEVE! I can’t believe supermarket ladies kicked their asses most of the time.
It’s tough to pick between French Born Aurelia & Singaporean Sophie as my favourite early boots against Richard & Joey.
Chris & Anastasia’s fight during the Guns n’ Roses Detour becomes one of the most absurd TAR fights in history.
The only weak team in the cast happened to go home first. Everyone else brought something to the table. Yes, even Jeff & Luke. A few pieces of unintentional comedy were in play every single leg.
Tyler & Nathan were worthy winners. They had some goofy moments, some heartbreaking moments, a compelling social game, and a great rally from having all of their money stolen in a season where you needed to hang onto whatever cash you could until the very end. This isn’t TAR Canada where they hand you thousands of dollars.
This season was strong overall, but it suffers in my eyes from too much overlap with activeTV’s other TAR production of TAR Asia (locations and/or tasks from the first four seasons), and a few instances of disappointing leg design and a luck-based finale along the way.
If you don’t care about the TAR Asia overlap, this season would go up a couple of spots in this ranking. I just wish a bit more creativity was involved.
Overall, it is above the Mendoza line of TAR 1. All seasons ranked above TAR 1 are considered strong seasons in my books. TAR Australia 1 definitely belongs in this category in my books.
11. The Amazing Race (1) – 7/10
“The adventure and experiment of a lifetime begins as Bertram Van Munster and Phil Keoghan are apart of the first season. It is tough to rank it because it is edited more as a travel documentary rather than a competition.
For those of you who only know the Guidos and Kevin & Drew from their laughable performances in All Stars, watch this season. Your opinion of them will change for the better.
Note that this season featured so few equalizers that the top two teams managed to build a lead of well over 24 hours on the trailing two teams by the end of the season. This will never happen again.”
12. The Amazing Race Asia 4: “The Race of a Lifetime” – 6.81/10
“The final season of TAR Asia is a relatively good season. I think this is the perfect season to be positioned in the middle of my rankings. Nothing great happened to take it to the next level, but nothing infuriating that would make this a bad season.
Along with TAR 19, TAR Asia 4 is the season I have heard people talk about the least since its airing. You know TAR 19 was lacklustre when it shares a record with an obscure foreign edition.
It is tragic that this is the final edition of the Asian franchise, but an overall natural conclusion to the series. There is not much more they could have done with the series given the limited options for producers.
Casting was equally strong to TAR Asia 3. Scratch that, this cast was stronger than TAR Asia 3 since nobody was as much of a dud as Isaac & William. No real weak links in this cast.
Furthermore, nobody in casting was repeatedly irritating me. Hating on a certain father-daughter team or Dominatrix’s logic was more fun rather than being a strike against the season. Only downside is that producers failed to avoid mactors and mactresses yet again. Oh well.
The tasks and locations faired reasonably well. This aspect of the race was successful in the long run that American seasons, and Asian producers for the Australia series, would recycle these tasks and locations. Trendsetters in their own right.
However, many of the tasks were poorly explained. A rare problem I have encountered in TAR. How do you drop the ball after twenty English-speaking seasons?
Allan kept bringing the puns. I enjoyed that.
Perhaps the biggest reasons why this season has fallen into obscurity is because of the following:
a) No significant rivalries or conflicts. Besides docks, an EVIL EVIL man, the early U-Turn and Yield, not much happened.
b) No characters that are over-the-top to an extreme.
c) Winners are likeable, and won in an acceptable fashion.
On the flipside, these are the exact reasons why I like this season. It was a breath of fresh air. Nearly everyone was a source of comedy. Manas threw sticks, Hilda being carried away without breakfast, Hussein falling off of things, Jess & Lani wasting the money they begged for on clothes, Yani petting a snake, Dominatrix eating chicken balls and making funny faces, Richards with their comedic errors, Ethan with his polar bear outfit as well as his sheep herding, Sunaina & Dimple attempting to ski, and Alan feuding in broken English.
Experimenting with another Intersection as well as record-breaking early NELs was welcome to the series.
TAR Asia 4 could burn through all three NELs by top six for two reasons:
1) They have only ten teams to begin the season.
2) Episodes run four to ten minutes longer than US episodes.
Therefore characters have enough time to be developed from day one, and thus editors do not need to worry about giving a team an invisible edit because too many teams are left after seven rounds of play. This was the perfect format to have all six teams be alive with zero NELs left in the race.
In short, TAR Asia 4 is the epitome of a good season. Every series needs seasons like these. Unfortunately easy-going seasons are tough to rank near the top of the chain.”
13. The Amazing Race 13 – 6.8/10
“This season has a very unique combination of being funky and good. This marked the final season in TAR’s transition era. No U-Turns were used and much of the format including the shortened eleven round format was copied from TAR 12.
The route was great for the first half of the season, but spending four of the last six rounds in Delhi and Moscow really hampered the season. A mixture of jaw-dropping blunders never before seen on TAR through no fault of the teams being terrible, watching a team prove that you can indeed virtually win every leg as well as the season, and decent casting made for an entertaining season.
Not only did we see the first ever super duper dominant brother-sister team take the first sibling crown, but a mother-son team proved that you can do well on the race as long as you hang onto your passport. Frowny McFrownerson was simultaneously a buzzkill but fun to irritate, the bra gate incident which led to teams forever being sequestered at pit stops, the great tale of Dandrew, the whiniest male contestant since Adam from TAR 6, Cabbie on the Street, and Mark & Bill all contributed to a fun adventure.
Tina tried to exchange this for a bigger rating, but it failed. Seeing Cambodia and Bolivia debut is the only reason why I have this above TAR Asia 3. Yes, again, seeing a team lose their passport at the most painful point possible gives this a boost as well.”
14. The Amazing Race Asia 3: Toughest Race Ever – 6.7/10
“This season was definitely a step down from TAR Asia 2’s amazing route and cast, but it provided a surprisingly solid season.
Hyped as #toughestracever , what it really meant is that vomit-inducing cuisines, physical activity in really high temperatures, super extended rounds, late night tasks, and needle in a haystack tasks that made unrolling Swedish hay bales look like a cake walk, covered the first six rounds of the game.
The second half saw a drop in overall difficulty but a favourable route for quitters Sam & Vince. Tragically, Sam & Vince would go on to win the game just one day after taking a four hour penalty when Sam could not pull himself twenty more feet across a gorge.
Why is the rating for this season nearly as high as seven out of ten despite bad winners, needle in haystacks, and a bad route?
Well, because the casting was “really really goooood” in the words of Audrey from TAR Canada 2.
Ida & Tania were simultaneously dominant and underdogs throughout the season as their late season run pointed towards a victory in the final leg, but was sadly not meant to be.
Mai & Oliver, Henry & Bunn-eh, Niroo & Kapil, Geoff 26 & Tisha 31, and all-male team A.D. & Fuzzie set up for an incredible cast.
It would have been 6.8 if not for Isaac & William. What the hell were producers thinking when casting them?
Perhaps the biggest improvement upon previous TAR Asia instalments is that the number of non-eliminations was dropped from five to three. Although with this cast it was always sad to see anyone go.”
15. The Amazing Race 10 – 6.5/10
“Its two biggest faults: An opening round twist which eliminated one team halfway through the premiere, and perhaps a contender for the dullest winners to date in a horribly designed finale leg.
In between that you have a strong season. Mongolia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Ukraine, and Kuwait all appear for the first and only time this season. The Six Pack versus Rob & Kim and Tyler & James lasts all the way to the end, Rob breaking down cars, an out-of-shape all-women’s team is the first all-female team to be in the Final Three, brother-sister team David & Mary, Social Outcasts/Chipmunks Dustin & Kandice, Condescending Quitter Peter/Prequel to Rex Harrington & One-Legged Sarah make up for the beginning and ending.
This marks the first of three Intersections and the first of two seasons with the Marked for Elimination penalty.
It is perhaps the most creative production and the most epic route that TAR has ever done. Again, a jump to an eight or higher is very possible if not for its start and conclusion.”
16. The Amazing Race 18: Unfinished Business 6.4/10
“This season was expected to be the worst season of all time, and had a best case scenario of being an average season. Thank God the absolute best case scenario happened, and the season was ultimately saved from being utter shit.
I don’t know what producers were thinking prior to the start of the season. Very few of their decisions made any sense.
Pick FIVE teams from the worst season ever? Check.
Plan a route which heavily favours these five teams, and insert only one new country for a third of a round? Check.
Plan a terrible twist at the beginning, and do absolutely nothing interesting for the remainder of the season? Check.
This was the season I was originally going to come out of my TAR hiatus to watch live five years ago, but all of these factors made me delay watching this season until this TARstorian project.
I see why now it is not a despised season: Producers really lucked out by having their bad decisions not play out the way they wanted it. Hallelujah.
Unlike TAR 11: Real All Stars, this season was full of snubs with teams they could clearly replace in this cast. Sorry, TAR 13.
We saw a revamped version of the Eliminate Somebody at the Starting Line for No Apparent Reason twist from TAR 15 where Amanda & Kris were doomed after the opening minutes of the race (they will be automatically U-Turned during the first elimination round and essentially screwed–brilliant!). Thankfully, Amanda & Kris are the biggest head-scratcher of a team to be chosen to return in TAR history, and took the well-deserved bullet for everyone else.
Things got better. Nearly everyone else from TAR 14 fell in a row at the start of the season, and allowed teams like Gary & Mallory, Zev & Justin, Kent & Vyxsin, and Ron & Christina dominate the airtime for nearly the whole season. Because of this, there were a ton of hilarious moments. Kent & Vyxsin’s insane blunders and meltdowns alone kept us going for weeks.
Luke’s epic fail at the tea Roadblock in India was perfect dark comedy. Some, for odd reasons, state it was one of the saddest reasons in TAR history–I view it as the exact opposite. There are few times where more unintentional comedy has been provided for a viewer in The Amazing Race.
Ron eating, Christina falling out of cars, Kent & Vyxsin losing their passport or driving twenty hours in the opposite direction and pointlessly betraying other teams, Zev making inappropriate jokes, Justin providing great commentary, and Mallory being a 24/7 cartoon character kept us going from week to week. Oh, and who can forget Jet & Cord’s delicious elimination in the ninth round?
Kisha & Jen’s victory provided a minimal reaction for the audience. It is not bad, but not super compelling either. Everyone can accept their victory, but not have a strong opinion about it.
TAR 18 was a strange way to wrap up another era of TAR. It was all over the place, a lot of it never really made any sense, there were a couple of good seasons here and there, but somehow the series continued to survive.
Perhaps the biggest fault for this season is it never addressed any of the long-term complaints that the audience had about the show for the past decade. This failure to address the viewers is why TAR 18 will mark the end of the program’s grip in American pop culture, and fade more and more into a niche market until. . .well, until today where TAR 29 has already been filmed, but no word on when it will air beyond it being a “mid-season replacement”. And perhaps the other major fault is that this season does not have any major highlights or anything significant to keep it alive outside of Kent & Vyxsin’s humongous blunder in Japan where they couldn’t even make the required flight. The following season, TAR 19, will also suffer from being unmemorable, but without the strong characters to save it.
Lastly, any season involving returnees needs to have challenges which are a step above a “regular season”. TAR 11 accomplished this, but sadly TAR 18 did not. None of the tasks felt like the teams were playing for keeps.
If anything, this season should have been a lesson for producers to start listening to the experts who support the series.
P.S. This season is the first one to not even have a planned Fast Forward.
17. The Amazing Race 4 – 6.25/10
“TAR 4 offered very few new things. An overall likeable cast, a route that spent too much time in Europe while going virtually nowhere new despite it being only the fourth season, and is the only season other than TAR 8 and 24 which pushed TAR closest to cancellation. The show goes away for a full year after this season.
There are a few highlights, though. For instance, Kelly & Jon are odd figures to become villains at the end of the season. The initial dominant alliance gets slaughtered very quickly which hadn’t really been seen before. Monica & Sheree talked about luxuries of being married to NFL players, and the most important figures o