AJ & Jody and Luz & Chen arrive at Imperial Ice Bar where they must solve a puzzle by using ice blocks containing letters to spell out “STOCK EXCHANGE.” Once they’ve given the judge the correct answer, they’ll receive the next clue.
There are only three sets of ice blocks in the bar and each team only has 30 minutes to provide the correct answer before needing to go back to the end of the line.
Luz & Chen say they have very little body fats, so they will most certainly freeze faster than others. AJ likes word puzzles, but this is not a fun word puzzle.
Jet & Yna are next to arrive. Looking at the letters, Yna thinks it might spell out “New Mexico, Pampanga.”
None of the three teams get the answer within 30 minutes, so they must leave.
Zarah & Osang, Daniel & Charlie and RR & Jeck are the next teams to enter the ice bar. Outside, Jet & Yna work with Luz & Chen and AJ & Jody trying to figure out the clue using paper and pen.
The 2nd group exits after 30 minutes. Zarah approaches Vince & Ed and asks for help, telling him they should write down all the letters once they go in so they won’t have to keep flipping ice blocks over.
Vince asks RR & Jeck if they wrote the letters down and knowing Vince & Ed are nerds, the sexy besties decide to work with them.
AJ & Jody, Luz & Chen and Jet & Yna return to the ice bar. All of them decide to write down the letters and AJ & Jody manage to unscramble “Stock.” They go to Jet & Yna who end up figuring out “Stock Exchange.”
Jet & Yna give their answer to the judge and they get the thumbs up and their next clue. They tell AJ & Jody and Luz & Chen the answer on their way out.
Going into the ice bar, Vince & Ed ask Luz & Chen for the answer. And Chen gives it to them, but immediately regrets it when Vince & Ed actually pass them on the way out.
And on their way out, as promised, Vince & Ed whisper the answer to RR & Jeck and Zarah & Osang.
Matt & Phoebe, Kelvin & JP and Roch & Eji are next in.
Back in the non-ice bar, Tina & Avy are isolated from the others who, led by RR & Jeck, make it a point not to even talk to them. Daniel & Charlie ask RR & Jeck for the answer, and the sexy besties give it, as long as they are able to leave before them AND Team Juan D doesn’t tell Tina & Avy.
RR & Jeck say it isn’t fair to just tell Tina & Avy, who were the last to arrive. They make fun of them and say Tina & Avy are crying in the comfort room.
Matt & Phoebe exit the ice bar and Zarah & Osang enter. They immediately arrange their blocks according to the answer Vince & Ed gave them, careful not to let Kelvin & JP see. RR & Jeck enter next and while Jeck tries to stop the pogis from seeing, RR says it’s okay.
Kelvin & JP give Roch & Eji the answer on their way out as Tina & Avy enter for the first time.
Tina & Avy ask Roch & Eji, but the only clue Eji gives is that the location is somewhere near Ortigas.
Back in the non-ice bar, Daniel & Charlie tell their Juan Direction friend Matt the answer before they both go inside. Matt & Phoebe leave next.
When Daniel & Charlie are on their way out, Tina & Avy ask for even a simple clue so they can figure it out themselves, but Daniel & Charlie do not want to help at all when they are both fighting for last place.
Avy starts crying out of frustration and feeling like the others are all ganging up on them. Tina steps on the ice sofa for an overhead view of all the ice blocks. That’s when it clicks. With Eji’s “Ortigas” clue, Tina finally sees the correct answer and they proceed to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
“Kaming dalawa na lang sa alliance. Wala na kaming pakialam sa kanila. Magsama-sama kayo!”
Oh boy! Alright. So first of all, it will definitely take some getting used to, this one Route Marker-an-episode format. You’re used to seeing teams starting other tasks while others are still finishing the previous one. Again, it makes absolutely sense for this daily format, but still, it’s an odd feeling while watching.
Now this ice puzzle task falls into the category of tasks that look great on paper, but end up being absolutely disappointing when it plays out. And this task (EPISODE!) played out with some of the things I hate most about recent American TARs!
TAR24 absolutely gave alliances a bad name. “Alliances” were used in the worst way possible on TAR24 in that they absolutely ignored the very nature of TAR’s competition. This is a competition right? The biggest word in the show’s logo is RACE.
I definitely get activeTV and TV5 wanting to inject (force?) more drama into the show. But as a TAR fan for 14 years! [/Shelley & Nici & Dennis & Isabelle], seeing teams relying on getting their hands held and spoonfed answers is just horrible.
TARPh1 goddesses Dani & Mish were penalized for getting the answer to the presidents/teammate drop Road Block from Dayal. And yet here, we have teams giving answers left and right with little attempt to actually figure it out on their own. If sharing answers was forbidden, would they have taken penalties like the three TAR25 teams in the premiere?
At least I take comfort in the fact that this is not the kind of task we would see often. Most tasks won’t be solved by begging other teams for answers. Though that surfboard task in the promos which is recycled from TARA and TARAu is prime for another one of these disasters.
Definitely leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But maybe worst of all, a team gets Rachel Reilly’d for no apparent reason!
My Subjective Team Rankings
So I was only going to rank teams after every Leg, but WTF happened today, seriously. It appears my feelings toward a team can change from episode-to-episode/Route Marker-to-Route Marker. So here we go!
My heart goes out to Tina & Avy. After seeing teams gang up on Rachel on TAR24 and teams gang up on Sukhi & Jinder on #RaceCDA2, seeing Tina & Avy get ganged up on for no reason was horrible. And the only reason they were in last was because Kuya taxi driver was so slow getting to SM Aura. Now I definitely liked them already in the first episode, as they were fun in both the Leg itself and in their pre-Race intro, but I have to give them major kudos for being able to calm themselves, focus and figure out the answer on their own. (With a good clue from Eji.)
Jet & Yna may not be my favorite team yet, but I must give them big props at being one of the only teams to figure out the answer as well (with some help from AJ & Jody). It helps that they only gave the answer to the two other teams they were working with and not post it on social media like other teams did.
AJ & Jody get kudos for at least actually working and finding a way to solve the puzzle as well as eventually figuring out “Stock” which led to Jet & Yna getting the answer. Now Luz & Chen would’ve been golden had Chen not blurted out the answer so easily. It’s definitely great that Chen saw the error of her ways and regretted that decision almost immediately. Vince & Ed getting ahead of them is the exact reason why you shouldn’t be helping other teams. In a RACE.
Zarah & Osang were awesome in the first episode, but definitely got lost in the mess this episode. And if you do want to help another team, do what Roch & Eji did and give them a clue, but not the answer. Which is what Tina & Avy asked for, just a clue for them to figure it out on their own.
I’d almost think Kelvin & JP just sneaking a peek is much less horrible than begging other teams for the answer. Like Vince & Ed who brag about their smarts, yet beg for the answer first chance they got. Eeek. It’s a good thing Matt is a recurring member of Juan Direction too. Matt & Phoebe definitely benefited from being pre-Race friends with another team on the Race, though they were at least working to figure it out on their own.
No fault on Daniel & Charlie not wanting to tell Tina & Avy the answers because that’s exactly what you should be doing. But at the same time, it’s sketchy since it’s not like they figured it out on their own anyway.
And finally RR & Jeck. They were the stars of the first episode, no question. They were hilarious and they came off as very real and natural. But this episode, they absolutely felt like they were playing it up for the cameras. They were definitely TAR23 Leo & Jamal and Tim & Marie-level of camera mugging and “turning it on” for show. I can appreciate RR’s fun Englishing-shtick, but not this episode. It absolutely felt forced and too many shades of Dave & Connor/Caroline & Jen’s unwarranted bullying of poor Rachel-esque Tina & Avy.
RR: “Oh my gosh, after init: lamig? Totoo ba ‘to?”
Chen: “Hindi ka makapag-isip ng maayos kasi na-fefreeze yung utak mo.”
RR: “You know, it’s not always good-looking. You cannot get us from that.”
RR: “You think AMALAYER?”