The Amazing Race Australia 2 Season Wrap-Up

The Amazing Race Australia 2 – Season Wrap-Up

Another successful season of The Amazing Race Australia is over.  And like the first season of the Aussie adaptation, this year’s edition delivered.

Casting is Key
The strongest aspect of TARAu1 was its excellent, diverse cast.  Though seemingly born out of some familiar TAR team molds, each team was distinct and made their mark.  The same can be said for TARAu2.  Another well-casted bunch of teams.  

From siblings and best friends to dysfunctional couples and parent & child, from nice guys and bullies to comic relief and competive, The Amazing Race Australia 2 definitely assembled a great mix of Racers.  And it was thanks to those Racers that we got some good drama, unpredictable competition and colorful personalities.

Based on the last few seasons, TARUS needs to bring over the TARAu casting people.  That’s two-for-two on casting for TARAu and there’s no reason to doubt they’ll be assembling another strong cast next year.

Location, Location…
While TARAu didn’t have a standout location this season like they did last year with Israel, it did go to some unfamiliar or long-forgotten locations TARUS definitely didn’t consider for the upcoming TAR21 (trust me).

It was great to see TAR in the Philippines as well as full TAR legs in North America.  TARAu had solid legs in Europe, Cuba and China.

There were plenty of familiar Road Blocks and Detours though, especially from TARA (of course) and TARUS (specifically TAR14’s China legs).  

The one problem TARAu2 might have had that TARAu1 didn’t was the increasingly linear leg design, long been a problem for TARUS with producing lackluster legs.  

But the linear legs were given a boost by the relatively good tasks and great team interactions.  It also helps that TARAu has maintained their multiple-Route Marker leg structure that has teams going to numerous places during the legs as opposed to TARUS’ over-simplified, point A to point B legs.

Strong All Around
TARAu introduced the Salvage Pass, an interesting power that unlike the Express Pass, affects more than just the winning team.  I’d actually like to see TARUS incorporate it.  Deciding to save a team from elimination in the first leg and then that team eventually outlasting you and making it to 5th Place?  Craziness!

While it could be a bad logistics dream for TARUS and would bring up the question of “pre-determined non-elimination” legs (How would they make up for the non-eliminated team?), I think it would bring more drama than the Express Pass.

TARAu also brought over TAR Israel/HaMerotz LaMillion’s U-Turn voting.  That would definitely bring drama, but I don’t know that TARUS would need that just yet.

Grant Bowler, returning as host, stepped up his game.  He was much more animated and excitable this season.  While his verbiage at the Mat could throw off some TAR fans, it added to the overall fresh feel of TARAu.

Neither TAR19 or TAR20 brought about the freshening up I had hoped for when it came to opening credits and on-screen graphics.  After seeing TARAu’s graphics and excellent opening credits sequence, I expected TARUS to follow suit, especially for its 10th Anniversary or if not, its milestone 20th season. 

I definitely hope TAR21 will bring the cosmetic sprucing up it needs.  TARAu’s look and feel continues to be one of its strong suits.

Overall, The Amazing Race Australia 2 followed up its inaugural season’s successes and seems to have started a legitimate franchise in Australia.  Seven has already ordered season 3.  And at the very least, TARAu3 will be another great bridge between the mothership’s seasons next Summer.

My Final Subjective Team Rankings

Sarah & James Sarah & James -  Hilarious and awesome.  Sarah and her hunners are definitely two of the best characters to come from TARAu or any TAR yet.  She may look like some Botoxed-cougar with boobs and tight clothes, but she was a strong and fierce competitor.  She was focused on the Race and often would need to push James to get into the Race as well.  That competitive fire was definitely lacking from other teams.  Couple that with the typical dysfunctional couple entertainment, you’ve got a winner!
Paul & Steve Paul & Steve – Paul might just be the most interesting character on TARAu yet.  A highly competitive, very confident alpha male who showed both strong performances and baffling stumbles.  He may not have done anything directly to other teams, but his loud, confident personality would definitely be something that could rub others the wrong way, especially if you’re winning every leg.  Steve was the calmer, more normal half of the team.  And together, they worked solidly for most of the Race.  But Paul knowing exactly who and what he was eased any ill-will one might have toward him.
Lucy & Emilia Lucy & Emilia – Their epic escapes from elimination were epic.  They had luck on their side and they enjoyed the Race and each other.  Plus, they were hilarious the entire time.  Though I would’ve loved to have seen actually step it up during the Race, they were enjoyable and fun.
Sticky & Sam Sticky & Sam – They seemed to be setting themselves up for either a dominant run or a huge fall.  Too bad it was the latter.  Sticky definitely proved a lot in spite of only having one arm, but their surprising elimination showed the Race is leg to leg and one misstep could be fatal.  Good guys that just couldn’t get themselves out of a hole.  
Tarryn & Ross Tarryn & Ross – They had a very promising start to the Race, but when they were eliminated, their weaknesses came bubbling to the top.  A lack of drive and focus was sad to see from a team that started off so well.  
Shane & Andrew Shane & Andrew – They had a rough go at it for most of the Race.  They fully earned their “bumbling cops” title, but their steadiness and having other teams drop like flies helped propel them to the final leg that was anyone’s for the taking.  And they took it.  Nice guys who I would’ve liked to see more competitiveness from earlier.  Plus how could you not like them for their kangaroo souvenirs?
Sue & Teresa Sue & Teresa – The aura spray may have made them seem like a gimmick at first, but they showed some makings of a solid team.  Though they needed more sense of urgency, they Raced relatively well and could’ve made it further had it not been for that Road Block.
Michelle & Jo Michelle & Jo – Probably the most consistent team this Race.  But even though they were strong most of the time, they also had some huge bumps along the way.  And their strange fixation on Paul turned into a Rachel vs Vanessa redux (TAR20) especially in the final leg when it appears their frustration exploded.  Still, they had ups and downs, but they definitely deserved their spot in the final.
Adam & Dane Adam & Dane – The teams were half-right in the final leg.  Adam & Dane were indeed unlucky.  But selling their stuff and not knowing the Race rules was their own doing.  Instead of being an alpha-male team that went far, they ended up being first boot fodder.
Donna & Kym Donna & Kym – Their last leg was painful to watch.  To see a team just give up like that was both sad and very annoying.  And their own grudge against Paul just made them seem petty and childish.    
Joseph & Grace Joseph & Grace – Grace seemed to be strong and competitive at the start of the Race.  Boy was I wrong.  Though she deserves kudos for not giving up in their final leg, her self-imposed weakness and unnecessary bullying of other teams plus her self-righteous proclamations of who should and shouldn’t make it to the end just made her and Joseph the legitimate villains of the Race.  And not in a love to hate kind of way either.


<font face="georgia" size="4"Relive The Amazing Race Australia!



Click here to go to the archive to see all my recaps from this season and from American seasons past!

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Recap: The Amazing Race Australia, Episode 2.12 – “I’m sorry my looks, my facial expressions offend you.”

The Amazing Race Australia 2, Episode 12

The Leg



Teams are transported to Guilin, China where they start the Final Leg.  Michelle & Jo and Paul & Steve head to the Lijian River where they must search amongst traditional fishermen (and cormorants!) for their next clue by asking them in Mandarin.  HOURS OF OPERATION!  They wait for the location to open at 8:30 and they dress up before heading out onto the River in rafts.  The Twins go one way and the guys go another.  Paul & Steve ask the fisherman, but only receive fish.  It’s Michelle & Jo who get it on their first try.

They open their clue and find the Detour.

For this Detour, teams have to head a Kindergarten school in Yongshua.
In Teach, teams choose a young student whom they’ll teach ten Australian slang words to.  The student must memorize the words and pass the quiz for the teams to get the next clue.

In Learn, the teams will have to learn the same ten words in Mandarin from a young student.  The teams must memorize the words and then pass their own quiz to receive the next clue.



While the Cops finally leave the Pit Start, Michelle & Jo hop in a taxi.  Paul & Steve find the correct fisherman and head off to find the school, but people point them in the right direction and they assume the school is within walking distance.  It is not.

Shane & Andrew are on the River while Michelle & Jo are now lost.  Paul & Steve come across more locals who tell them the school is one and a half hour away by bike.  They decide to just keep walking instead of going back and they meet a friendly dog who guides them on their way.



Michelle & Jo finally arrive at the school and choose a cute little girl to teach them the words.  They go in for the quiz, but don’t remember the Mandarin for Man and Woman.  They choose a different cute little girl and get the clue on their 2nd try.

After the Detour, teams must head to Bai Sha Market where they must sell 10 slicer gadgets for no less than 5 yuan to receive their next clue.  They quickly sell their ten and excitedly read the next clue telling teams to fly to Brisbane, Australia.  They go to the airport and find a flight leaving at 4:10pm they hope the guys won’t manage to catch.

Paul & Steve arrive at a hotel and get a taxi while Shane & Andrew arrive at the school.  They decide to teach a cute little boy ten Aussie words.  He says he’s ready, but then freezes at the quiz.  They don’t want to switch kids since he was really nice, so they decide to just switch Detours and have the boy teach them instead.



The Cops finish immediately and give the little boy a snack and one of their kangaroo souvernirs.  Just as they are leaving, Paul & Steve arrive and choose Learn.  Steve has trouble remembering the Mandarin for Bathers, but they get it on their 2nd try.

Paul & Steve arrive at the Market just as Shane & Andrew are leaving again.  The Cops head to the airport with only 20 minutes to get on the flight.  Paul & Steve get to the airport with only six minutes to the flight.  And all three teams get on the same plane through Guangzhou to Brisbane.

Teams arrive on Australian soil at 8:55am.  While Shane & Andrew stop to get a map, the Twins and Paul & Steve run straight for the marked cars and open the next clue.  Teams must drive themselves to Kangaroo Point at Captain Burke Park.

The Cops arrive at the Park just as the other two teams find the next clue.  Teams must now drive to Boggo Road Gaol.  Paul & Steve decide to continue following the Twins.  But out of the Park, it’s a Left Turn Only back onto the bridge.  They decide they have no choice but to go the opposite way they need to go.  But Shane & Andrew decide to safely make a U-Turn and are now in the lead heading to the jail.

The Cops arrive at the jail first and open the next clue.  Team members will have to match their partners’ answers to five questions about other Racers.  Michelle & Jo and Paul & Steve are right behind and all three teams are there. 

Shane & Andrew finish the task first and head off to Archerfield Airport where they must catch one of three charter flights to Fraser Island.  While waiting, Jo explodes at quiet Paul and tells him how much she hates him.



Some of the teams, for some reason, don’t know how to read “Which team would LIE TO YOU?” (Instead reading it as “Which team would you lie to?”).  But Paul & Steve finish next.  Paul wishes Jo the best, but she doesn’t want it.  The Twins stay close behind.

Shane & Andrew land on the beach at Fraser Island they drive along to Lake McKenzie where they find the Road Block.

In this Road Block, teams will have to answer five questions in the water about the Race.  They must answer the questions by placing color-coded rings corresponding to A, B or C around each respective cluebox. 



Andrew heads out first and finishes a little after Paul begins.  Shane & Andrew head off with the clue telling them to run down the beach to a marked area where they must dig up a treasure chest containing their prize money.  They must carry the chest to the Finish Line on the other side of the Lake.

Michelle starts the Road Block as the Cops start digging.  Paul is struggling, allowing Michelle to pass him.  The Cops finally dig up the treasure chest and they head to the other side of the Lake to the Finish Line where they stroll onto the Mat.  Grant congratulates them, makes it official and hands them the key to the treasure chest.  Shane & Andrew jump in the water to celebrate.

While both Paul & Steve and Michelle & Jo are digging for the treasure, the Twins start blowing up at Paul again.  Steve finds the treasure chest.  Paul encourages the girls and he and Steve head to the Finish Line.

“I just didn’t want the boys to beat us.”



Grant officially checks Paul & Steve in as the 2nd place team.  Steve compliments the other teams and wants to have a beer with them.  Paul says he respects them all, even if they think he’s the “most unfriendliest, standoff guy.”  It was his pleasure to Race with and meet them all.  He cries saying how proud he is of having Raced with integrity and honor.

The twins finally arrive with their chest and are officially 3rd.  The teams all hug and The Amazing Race Australia 2 is done.



Episode Thoughts
An interesting final leg!  I don’t know about splitting it between China and Australia though.  TARUS stopped doing that a while ago and having the final leg all in one city was much better.  The tasks in Guilin could’ve been a leg on its own.  Actually, it had more tasks and Route Markers than a typical TARUS leg. (Heh.)

But splitting the final leg between two countries could have disastrous with the possibility of one or even two teams getting left behind with the other getting hours headstart in the Final Destination City.  It’s that logistics problem that prompted TARUS to stop doing that.

Yay for cormorants!  That task was fun and having the teams receive fish instead of a clue was amusing.  Also, having children part of the Race is always awesome, especially if it’s teams interacting with them.  That was a fun Detour.  Selling things to the locals is definitely a tried and true TAR staple and allows more interaction with the local culture.

Over in Brisbane, I don’t know about that “Match what your partner is thinking” challenge.  It wasn’t that exciting when it was used on TARA.  And of course, it was the infamous challenge that single-handedly ruined TAR All-Stars.  The final memory Road Block was great to see too.  Adapted from TARA3, but this one had a much more beautiful setting than the infinity pool of the Marina Bay Sands. 

The digging up of a treasure chest is also a TARA Switchback.  But I did like how the final leg had a lot of different tasks.  It was definitely a full leg.

The episode, in turn, was exciting and you really didn’t know who would win until the Cops finished the Final Road Block.  Even then, the other two could’ve caught up.  So I’d say it was one of the more exciting TAR finales in recent memory.



PIT STOP
The Forbidden City
Beijing, China

PIT START
Guilin, China

CASH
$250

ROUTE MARKER
Lijian River
Guilin

DETOUR
Kindergarten School
Yangshuo, Guilin

ROUTE MARKER
Bai Sha Market
Guilin

CONNECTING CITIES
Guangzhou, China

DESTINATION CITY
Brisbane, Australia

ROUTE MARKER
Kangaroo Point, Captain Burke Park
Brisbane

Boggo Road Gaol
Brisbane

Archerfield Airport to 75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island

ROAD BLOCK
Lake McKenzie
Fraser Island, Australia

FINISH LINE
Lake McKenzie
Fraser Island, Australia


DEPARTURE
Guilin, China

Michelle & Jo 5:07am
Paul & Steve  5:12am
Shane & Andrew 8:47am










TEACH
 

LEARN
 Michelle & Jo
> Shane & Andrew
  Paul & Steve


> or < indicates team switched Detours.




Who did the Road Block?
Who has total recall?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

5 Shane Shane & Andrew Andrew 5 
5 Michelle Michelle & Jo Jo 5 
6 Paul Paul & Steve Steve 3 




5 Joseph Joseph & Grace Grace 4 
3 Lucy Lucy & Emilia Emilia 5 
4 Sarah Sarah & James James 3 
3 Sticky Sticky & Sam Sam 3
1 Tarryn Tarryn & Ross Ross 3 
1 Donna Kym & Donna Kym 1 
2 Sue Sue & Teresa Teresa 0 
0 Adam Adam & Dane Dane 0 



FINISH LINE
Lake McKenzie
Fraser Island, Australia

1st Shane & Andrew +2
2nd Paul & Steve =
3rd Michelle & Jo -2









Paul & Steve Paul & Steve – It was a tense leg for them.  They almost got left behind in China and Paul, despite what he says, faltered at the final Road Block.  And considering he’s handled thinking challenges very well in the past, you can’t deny that he definitely underperformed there.  They could’ve possibly caught up if he breezed through that task.
Shane & Andrew Shane & Andrew – They made the one move that won them the $250,000.  Making a U-Turn on the bridge.  That gave them just the right amount of time to get ahead and stay ahead.  And they definitely worked hard to maintain their lead.  TAR is leg to leg and they had an excellent leg.  Half the battle was getting to the final leg, the other half being an excellent performance in the final leg.  And they did both. 
Michelle & Jo Michelle & Jo – Jo exploding at Paul at the jail was so odd.  I guess the pressure of the final leg definitely got to her, but it was definitely out of nowhere.  Though we’ve seen big outbursts from the Twins before.  It was an okay leg for them otherwise and it all came down to just being faster than the others.    


Quotes from Episode 2.12

Paul: “I’m sorry my looks, my facial expressions offend you.”









Over 460  episode caps at photobucket.com/TARAu212


 

The Amazing Race Australia 2, Episode 12 – The Aussies Head Home!


The Amazing Race Australia 2 – Episode 12


The Final Three go back to school and go to the market before flying home to Brisbane. It’s all about using their brains in the final leg. Which team will dig up a quarter of a million dollars and which teams will get left behind in the sand on The Amazing Race Australia 2 grand finale?

Find out with full recap, photos, stats and more at
AmazingRace.DryedMangoez.com

For more on The Amazing Race Australia, log on to yhoo.it/TARAu7

Recap: The Amazing Race Australia, Episode 2.11 – “You’re such a poo face!”

The Amazing Race Australia 2, Episode 11

The Leg



All four teams hop on a charter bus to Calgary Airport where they buy tickets for the same flight to Beijing, China.  Once there, they jump into taxis.  Paul & Steve get out of their first taxi when the driver tells them it’ll be 700 yuan for the trip and take another, much cheaper taxi.  Joseph & Grace aren’t so lucky.  The driver tells them 600 yuan, which is basically all the money they have left.  They end up having to pay 500 yuan!

Teams arrive at the Ghost Street Food District where they find the Detour.


For both Detours, teams walk into the Liang An Yi Jia Restaurant.
In Waiter, teams must listen to the orders of a table of eight, in Mandarin, and correctly pronounce them to the chef who’ll then give them the prepared dish to serve.  Once all the customers have their orders, they’d receive their next clue.
In Wheel, teams sit in front of a wheel labeled with Chinese delicacies.  Taking turns, each team member spins the wheel to determine which dish the other team member would have to eat.  After each team member has eaten two dishes, they’d receive their next clue.



Joseph & Grace first choose Wheel, but when Grace finds out she has to eat a fried starfish, she is adamant about switching to Waiter, joining Michelle & Jo.  Meanwhile, Paul & Steve and Shane & Andrew feast on scorpions, cochroaches and testicle soup. 

Michelle & Jo and Paul & Steve finish the Detour first and they head off to the next Route Marker at Wuzhisheng Foot Reflection Health Center where they must receive a traditional Chinese foot massage for a continuous 10 minutes each.  The twins arrive there first and are shocked when they find out exactly how a Chinese foot massage feels.  Paul & Steve get lost.

Despite having no money and realizing from Shane & Andrew just how ripped off they were, Joseph & Grace hop in a taxi with almost no money.



Shane & Andrew arrive at the Health Center 2nd and get the massage right next to the twins.  Joseph & Grace arrive 2nd and Grace cannot believe what is happening, so much, that she pulls her foot away and has to start over.

Michelle & Jo finish first and get the next clue telling teams to head to Marco Polo Bridge where they must accurately count all the lions on the statues along the bridge to receive their next clue.

The cops leave 2nd and Paul & Steve arrive just as Joseph & Grace finish.  The siblings only have 75 yuen left.  And they have almost enough when the taxi driver lets them off at Marco Polo… Hotel.  The concierge tells them the Bridge is almost an hour away by taxi.  They decide to just walk since they can’t ask for money when no one speaks English.



HOURS OF OPERATION!  The twins, the cops and Paul & Steve wait until the bridge opens at 7:30am before they can start counting.  Michelle & Jo see Shane & Andrew have only counted the lions on one side of the bridge, so they do the same.  They submit their answers and of course, they are wrong.  They both go a second time and are still wrong.  Paul & Steve, on their first try and after carefully counting, are given the next clue.

Teams must now head to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China to complete the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams have to figure out how to pass through 9 rows of warriors to reach a clue at the top of the steps.  Only one warrior in each row would let them pass.  If they choose the wrong warrior, they’d get a strike and every three strikes, they must start over.



Paul starts first, but gets it wrong twice before Jo arrives.  Jo manages to get to the last row with one strike left, but doesn’t get it and has to head back down.  Meanwhile, Shane & Andrew’s cab driver is lost and Joseph & Grace just finish counting, have hopped into a taxi to the Great Wall, but worry about how to pay their driver once they get there.

Paul finally arrives at the clue at the top of the steps, but Jo is close behind.  It’s a taxi race to the Pit Stop at the Forbidden City, but it’s Michelle & Jo who manage to pull ahead thanks to their driver.  They officially step on the Mat first and win $10,000.  Paul & Steve take 2nd and are both in the final leg.

Joseph & Grace arrive at the Great Wall, but it’s the wrong section of it and there are no people there, like they had expected, which means no tourists to beg money from.  But even if they had gone to the right place, Shane & Andrew were too far ahead and they officially see Grant as Team #3.

Already dark, Grant goes out to Joseph & Grace who are still in their taxi.  He tells them they are so far out of the way, they’ve crossed into Inner Mongolia.  And it doesn’t matter, since they are last and are eliminated.



Episode Thoughts
Some very familiar tasks this leg.  The Waiter side of the Detour was a watered down version of a TAR14 Detour.  On TAR14, teams had to memorize all the orders, then recite them to the chef in one go.  They would then have to remember who ordered what after the dishes had been cooked.  So for the Aussies, the Detour was much easier and probably took a lot less time. 

The infamous Chinese foot massage from the same TAR14 leg shows up as well and it was just as funny here as it was back then.  The counting task at the bridge, definitely familiar too.

The Road Block at the Great Wall (which was great to see on TAR!) was derived from a TARA task with basically the same mechanics and I liked it back then too.  It was basically a memory task and after a pretty long, it could’ve been tough.

Joseph & Grace’s leg was very interesting.  Had there not been an Hours of Operation at the bridge, they would’ve probably been eliminated before sunrise.  Come to think of it, this was a pretty long leg.  Definitely not a leg you’d see on TARUS.  (Unfortunately.)




PIT STOP
Banff Springs Hotel
Banff, Canada

CASH
$40

CONNECTING CITIES
Calgary, Canada
Vancouver, Canada

DESTINATION CITY
Beijing, China

DETOUR
Liang An Yi Jia Restaurant
Ghost Street, Beijing

ROUTE MARKER
Wuzhisheng Foot Reflection Health Center
Beijing

Marco Polo Bridge
Beijing

ROAD BLOCK
Mutianyu Section, Great Wall of China
PIT STOP
The Forbidden City
Beijing, China



DEPARTURE
Banff Springs Hotel
Banff, Canada

Shane & Andrew 2:02am
Joseph & Grace 2:57am
Michelle & Jo 3:14am
Paul & Steve 3:29am









WAITER
 Michelle & Jo
Joseph & Grace <
 

WHEEL
  Paul & Steve
Shane & Andrew


> or < indicates team switched Detours.




Who did the Road Block?
Who can crack the warrior code?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

5 Paul Paul & Steve Steve 3 
4 Michelle Michelle & Jo Jo 5 
5 Shane Shane & Andrew Andrew 4 
5 Joseph Joseph & Grace Grace 4 




3 Lucy Lucy & Emilia Emilia 5 
4 Sarah Sarah & James James 3 
3 Sticky Sticky & Sam Sam 3
1 Tarryn Tarryn & Ross Ross 3 
1 Donna Kym & Donna Kym 1 
2 Sue Sue & Teresa Teresa 0 
0 Adam Adam & Dane Dane 0 



PIT STOP
The Forbidden City
Beijing, China

1st Michelle & Jo +2
2nd Paul & Steve +2
3rd Shane & Andrew -2
Eliminated Joseph & Grace -2







Paul & Steve Paul & Steve – A much better leg for them than the last one.  Love or hate Paul, he’s definitely a character and he isn’t even one of the most outrageous, over the top characters to show up on TAR either.  His stonefaced reaction to the massage was oddly hilarious.  Plus, they managed to show that they do have brains as well, again doing well with a mental task (at the bridge).  Their spot in the final leg was never really in doubt, barring a huge mistake.  But they’ve shown that they’re vulnerable, so a win isn’t as certain.
Michelle & Jo Michelle & Jo – They’ve definitely been consistent Racers.  Not exactly dominant, though they had flashes of dominant performances throughout the Race, but strong and consistent.  They definitely have a shot at the win, though their focus on Paul is a little worrisome and a little creepy even. lol 
Shane & Andrew Shane & Andrew – Honestly, I didn’t expect to see them in the final leg, and while they haven’t really shed the “bumbling cops” title just yet, they did enough with a little bit of luck as well to make it into the top 3.  I think with this top 3, anything can happen.  So the “bumbling cops” are definitely not out of the running. 
GAP
Joseph & Grace Joseph & Grace – I have to give them kudos for not giving up.  If they did indeed walk all that way, all night, then that’s huge.  Compare that to Kym & Donna who decided to just fall asleep when they ran out of money.  Still, Grace’s attitude about everything else was exactly what she was railing about against Paul and James & Sarah.  It was pretty unbelievable.  And while she didn’t give up here, she wasn’t necessarily focused or gung ho about everything either.  


Quotes from Episode 2.11

Michelle: “Get away from me woman!”

Steve: “You’re such a poo face!”

Jo: “You’re mean.  You have a smiley face on front.”







Over 460  episode caps at photobucket.com/TARAu211


 

Recap: The Amazing Race Australia, Episode 2.10 – “I do my riding better in the bedroom.”

The Amazing Race Australia 2, Episode 10

The Leg



Teams hop onto one of two, 14 hour bus rides to Banff where they must ride a mechanical bull for a combined 60 seconds to receive their next clue.  However, teams can keep going and the one with the highest accumulated time will get a bonus prize.

Paul & Steve and Shane & Andrew are on the first charter bus leaving at 8am and they get to Wild Bill’s Saloon in Banff to start.  The Cops are having a little easier time and are determined to win the bonus prize.  The 2nd bus, leaving at 9am, manages to allow the other teams to catch up and the five teams take turns on the bull.  With Paul & Steve giving up and not wanting to possibly injure themselves, the other teams make it a point to just beat their time.



Shane & Andrew win the bonus prize, a 30 minute head start at the next Route Marker, Junk Yards at Rundle Mountain, which opens at 8:30am.

The Cops head in at 8:30 (with the others having to wait until 9am) and they find the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams must scale a 25m frozen waterfall to retrieve their next clue.



Shane goes and has no problem finishing.  Later, Paul manages to pass Jo at the waterfall with Joseph right behind and Lucy struggling, but soldiering on.


Teams must drive to Lake Louise Ski Resort for the Detour.In Search, teams must use a avalanche rescue beacon to find a transmitter in a backpack in a marked area, dig it up and exchange it for their next clue.  In Ski, teams must complete a slalom course.



The Cops choose Ski and finish.  Paul & Steve choose Search, but have trouble finding anything.  That allows Joseph & Grace to finish the Ski Detour 2nd.  Paul & Steve decide to switch Detours and manage to catch up to Michelle & Jo.  And Lucy & Emilia, though trailing behind, manage to do what Paul & Steve could not and finish the Search Detour.

Teams head to the next Route Marker where they will help lead a dogsled team around a 3km course until they find their next clue.

Teams must head to Chataeu Lake Louise where they must retrieve their next clue from the bottom of an ice sculpture using the tools provided (including a single high heeled shoe… a hunner perhaps?).  The Cops maintain their lead and head to the Pit Stop at Banff Springs Hotel where they officially check-in 1st and claim a $10,000 prize.



While Joseph & Grace step on the Mat 2nd, Paul & Steve and Michelle & Jo get to the ice sculptures together.  But Paul & Steve start hammering away at the huge Race flag part of the ice sculpture, likely because they chose one of the sculptures (probably the Cops’) that was already missing a clue.  While they knock it over, Michelle & Jo chuckle and easily get their clue and head off to finish 3rd.

Steve finally sees the other sculptures down the way and they laugh at their idiocy, but that can’t keep them from escaping elimination by finishing 4th.

Not so lucky though are Lucy & Emilia as elimination finally catches up to them as they finish in last.


Episode Thoughts
Well, this three week break was pretty long eh?  Or should I say, “pretty long, yeah?”  I don’t know about this three night finale event, they might as well have just aired during the Olympics or, I don’t know what programming Seven has in the next two weeks, but oh well.

Anyway, another solid episode.  I do like  how they made the equalizer more interesting.  Since they had to wait until morning for the Road Block to open, having them take part in a little competition for an extra prize added a little fun and also could’ve even made some of the teams tired, affecting their Racing for the next day, depending on how long they stayed at the saloon.

The Road Block was typical enough and the Detour was transplanted from a New Zealand leg in TARA3, but the extra Route Markers added more variety and excitement.



PIT STOP
Crab Park
Vancouver, Canada

ROUTE MARKER
Wild Bill’s Saloon
Banff, Canada

ROAD BLOCK
Junk Yards at Rundle Mountain
Banff

DETOUR
Lake Louise Ski Resort
Banff

ROUTE MARKER
Chataeu Lake Louise
Banff

Great Divide Trail
Banff

PIT STOP
Banff Springs Hotel
Banff, Canada



DEPARTURE
Crab Park
Vancouver

Paul & Steve 10:11pm
Shane & Andrew 11:41pm
Michelle & Jo 11:58pm
Joseph & Grace 1:48am
Lucy & Emilia 1:51am







SEARCH
Lucy & Emilia< 
 

SKI
Shane & Andrew
Joseph & Grace
 Michelle & Jo
>  Paul & Steve


> or < indicates team switched Detours.



Who did the Road Block?
Who’s climbing the walls?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

5 Shane Shane & Andrew Andrew 3 
4 Paul Paul & Steve Steve 3 
4 Michelle Michelle & Jo Jo 4 
4 Joseph Joseph & Grace Grace 4 
3 Lucy Lucy & Emilia Emilia 5 




4 Sarah Sarah & James James 3 
3 Sticky Sticky & Sam Sam 3
1 Tarryn Tarryn & Ross Ross 3 
1 Donna Kym & Donna Kym 1 
2 Sue Sue & Teresa Teresa 0 
0 Adam Adam & Dane Dane 0 



PIT STOP
Banff Springs Hotel
Banff, Canada

1st Shane & Andrew +1
2nd Joseph & Grace +2
3rd Michelle & Jo =
4th Paul & Steve -3
Eliminated Lucy & Emilia =





Paul & Steve Paul & Steve – Well, that was a horrible leg for them, highlighted (or low-lighted) by them hammering away at nothing at the ice task.  It’s pretty bad when Michelle & Jo finish even before they figure out what they’re doing wrong.  Their Detour misstep wouldn’t have been so bad had Lucy  & Emilia not actually done what Paul & Steve failed to do.  This isn’t the kind of performance they want heading into the final legs.
Lucy & Emilia Lucy & Emilia – Elimination finally caught up with them.  It was only a matter of time.  No matter how much fun they were having, as other teams went before them, they needed to step it up, but they seemed to be stuck in cruise control the entire Race.  Too bad, because they were definitely a fun team to watch even if their Racing wasn’t up to snuff.
Michelle & Jo Michelle & Jo – They’re definitely gliding along to the final leg.  Their obsession with Paul is starting to get creepy and unnecessary though.  But if that’s their main motivation, then hey, why mess with success right?>
Shane & Andrew Shane & Andrew – They are starting to step it up and that is a good thing.  They definitely lived up to the bumbling cops title early in the Race, but they are definitely stepping it up when they need to.  Now’s not the time to be fumbling through the Race.  And they are certainly in a strong position to make it to the end.
GAP
Joseph & Grace Joseph & Grace – Are they still in the Race? 


Quotes from Episode 2.10

Steve: “I do my riding better in the bedroom.”
Lucy & Emila: *groan* “Ewe.”
Paul: “And you last the same amount of time, 15 seconds.”









390 episode caps at photobucket.com/TARAu210


 

Recap: The Amazing Race Australia, Episode 2.09 – “Why am I trying to ride a log on icy water?”

The Amazing Race Australia 2, Episode 9

The Leg

All teams are on the same flight to Vancouver, Canada.  Once in Vancouver, teams head to Stanley Park where they would look for a totem pole, take part in a First Nation ritual and receive their next clue from the chief.

Teams have to collect two paddles and make their way on foot to the Vancouver Rowing Club.  They find an Hours of Operation and they all go to a hotel for the night.  All the teams but one are at the Rowing Club when it opens at 8:30am.  James & Sarah are running late leaving the hotel.

Meanwhile, the other teams open the next clue, revealing a Fast Forward.  Paul & Steve and Shane & Andrew run off to get a taxi to head to the Art Studio for the Fast Forward.  But when Paul & Steve get a taxi first, Shane & Andrew decide to just go back and do the task.

At the harbor, teams must paddle themselves across the harbor to a dock where they must decipher a nautical phrase using maritime flags on a yacht.  They must figure out that the flags across the way are arranged in alphabetical order, according to the corresponding flag.

Michelle & Jo figure out the flag key first while Joseph & Grace head to a nearby information center to get a print out.  Just arriving are James & Sarah who, while on their way here, remember that they did not pay their hotel before leaving.  So before going out on the kayaks, they decide to go back and settle their bill.  But they worry about not having money for the taxi.

James & Sarah get to the hotel and the guy gives them a big discount as well as prints out a key to the flags for them too.  Across town, Paul & Steve arrive at the art studio to open the Fast Forward clue.


For this Fast Forward, the only one of the Race, Paul & Steve must pose nude for an art class who will draw them.  Once the students are done, they can go directly to the Pit Stop.  They have no problem getting naked and no problem heading to Grant at the Pit Stop at Crab Park where they officially win their 5th leg in a row and $10,000.

Back at the harbor, Michelle & Jo finish deciphering the message: “Three sheets to the wind, splice the mainbrace, weigh anchor and set sail.” And they are given the next clue, the Detour.


In this Detour, teams will get to do one of two traditional skills performed by Canadian lumberjacks.
In Toss, teams must throw an axe at a log target 6 meters away.  Once teams have landed 10 axes, they will be given their next clue.
In Tumble, teams must balance themselves on a rolling log and rotate the log 10 times to be given their next clue.

As teams head to the Detour, James & Sarah catch up to Lucy & Emilia.  They start off fast with the flags, but they soon get frustrated.  Lucy & Emilia finish and James & Sarah almost get the message, missing only a “B” from “brace.”

Michelle & Jo decide on the Tumble Detour, but Shane & Andrew choose Toss, allowing them to get ahead.  Joseph & Grace and James & Sarah also choose Toss, while Lucy & Emilia have “fun” with Tumble.

James & Sarah return to their nice taxi driver after being able to ask a Chinese couple for 5 bucks.

After the Detour, teams head to the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams will ride on top of a cable car to the peak of Grouse Mountain while collecting three flags along the way.  If they fail to collect a flag, they will have to return to the bottom and try again.

Shane & Andrew and Michelle & Jo maintain their leads finishing the Road Block and they head to Grant to check-in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Grace fails her first two attempts, but gets it on the third to avoid getting slapped with a four hour penalty.  Emilia gets it on her 2nd go.  James & Sarah’s nice taxi driver accepts their $25 payment for their $75 cab ride and they head up to the cable car.

Joseph & Grace have money issues of their own and have to go around the resort to beg for money as well.  Meanwhile, Lucy & Emilia manage to hop into James & Sarah’s nice taxi.

Joseph & Grace step on the Mat in 4th.  We are led to believe James & Sarah arrive at the Pit Stop first, but their driver won’t accept their $4 worth of money.  Lucy & Emilia then arrive and they check-in 5th.

James & Sarah see a police officer nearby who calls the owner of the cab and gets them out of their fare by promising the owner a case of Foster’s.

But it’s too late as James & Sarah step on the Mat in last and are eliminated.

Episode Thoughts
How refreshing to have TAR in Canada.  First time since TAR8 and it was a great leg.  That first nautical flags task was definitely familiar.  But the others were awesome.  First off, that Fast Forward!?  First unpixeled nudity on any edition of TAR ever?  Wow.  Were they really nude?  That’s pretty daring for both Paul & Steve and TAR itself.

The Detour was great to show off Canada’s stunning forests.  I wish we got to see more, but the Road Block and beautiful view it provided helped make up for it.

Very interesting to see so many teams with money troubles on TARAu.  They must not know how to manage the cash.  Or TARUS has been a lot more generous with how much money they give.

TARAu’s tricky editing has been very obvious every week, but none more than this week’s.  I think it was more than obvious James & Sarah were, unfortunately, last.

Also, Grant’s been doing it the whole Race, but his “You are the X team to arrive” or his “pre-determined elimination leg” spiels definitely throw me off.  We’ve come to expect the “X team to arrive” to automatically mean that team has incurred a penalty.  And the “pre-determined elimination leg” just sounds odd.

Anyway, it’s going to be a three week wait.  But, it appears we’re going to get a three-night finale.  Woah.  That’s a lot of TAR, even for the most diehard TAR fans I think.  Interesting decision by 7.

PIT STOP
The Capitol Building
Havana, CubaCONNECTION
Toronto, Canada

DESTINATION CITY
Vancouver, Canada

ROUTE MARKER
Stanley Park
Vancouver

Vancouver Rowing Club
Vancouver

DETOUR
Pine Forest
Vancouver

ROAD BLOCK
Grouse Mountain
Vancouver

PIT STOP
Crab Park
Vancouver

DEPARTURE
The Capitol Building
Havana, Cuba

Paul & Steve 12:08am
Shane & Andrew 12:23am
Michelle & Jo 12:35am
James & Sarah 2:01am
Lucy & Emilia 2:17am
Joseph & Grace 3:22am

TOSS
Shane & Andrew
Joseph & Grace <
Sarah & James

TUMBLE
Michelle & Jo
Lucy & Emilia

Paul & Steve
Paul & Steve took the Fast Forward.

> or < indicates team switched Detours.

Who did the Road Block?
Who can reach for the sky?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

3 Paul Paul & Steve Steve 3
4 Shane Shane & Andrew Andrew 3
4 Michelle Michelle & Jo Jo 3
3 Joseph Joseph & Grace Grace 4
2 Lucy Lucy & Emilia Emilia 5
4 Sarah Sarah & James James 3

3 Sticky Sticky & Sam Sam 3
1 Tarryn Tarryn & Ross Ross 3
1 Donna Kym & Donna Kym 1
2 Sue Sue & Teresa Teresa 0
0 Adam Adam & Dane Dane 0

PIT STOP
Crab Park
Vancouver, Canada1st Paul & Steve =
2nd Shane & Andrew =
3rd Michelle & Jo =
4th Joseph & Grace +2
5th Lucy & Emilia =
Eliminated James & Sarah -2
Sarah & James Sarah & James – How sad for them to go.  Worst elimination of the season so far.  Both, especially Sarah, were competitive and smart and avoided any drama with other teams.  Sure they had their own drama with each other, but they were able to get the tasks done (most of the time at least).  It sucks they had to go before Joseph & Grace.  And it sucks even more to learn they’ve broken up since the show.  But, they were one of those few teams who both entertain and Race hard. 
Paul & Steve Paul & Steve – Well, it’s kind of annoying that other teams can’t even get in front of Paul & Steve to get a Fast Forward.  Their domination is also getting kind of boring considering the leg design and the lack of competition from other teams have helped propel them to #1 for five legs.  They certainly aren’t nasty people who concentrate more on other teams (Grace!), but they were much more fun when they were actually putting more effort into their Race instead of just skating by.
Lucy & Emilia Lucy & Emilia – Another week, another leg with them saved by another team doing just that much worse than them.  Though, Emilia stepped up a lot this leg in both the Detour and Road Block.  They just need to do that more consistently and help push themselves out of the bottom.
Michelle & Jo Michelle & Jo – Staying safe and consistent.  And unless they royally mess up or get some bad luck like Sticky & Sam, they should have their spot in the finals secured.
Shane & Andrew Shane & Andrew – A surprisingly strong leg for them.  They got themselves to the top and stay there even after wasting some time trying to go for the Fast Forward.  I guess they are peaking at the right time.  If they keep it up, they might actually have a shot.
Joseph & Grace Joseph & Grace – It is hilarious to watch them, or just Grace, talk about who does and doesn’t deserve to be in the final leg.  She should look in the mirror, eh?
Quotes from Episode 2.09

Paul: “I’m used to being pretty hot, but right now I’m extra hot.”

Joseph: “You can’t throw an axe?”
Grace: “Joey, I can’t even throw a tennis ball.”

Lucy: “I can’t even walk straight.  Why am I trying to ride a log on icy water?”

Sarah: “I’ve thrown plenty of things before, plates, I’ve thrown shoes.  But never an axe, which is probably a good thing.”
James: “Probably.”

 

390 episode caps at photobucket.com/TARAu209

Recap: The Amazing Race Australia, Episode 2.08 – “It’s a Pit Pause.”

The Amazing Race Australia 2, Episode 8

The Leg

Paul & Steve and Michelle & Jo open the clue handed to them by Grant and find teams must make their way to Maria Hemingway to sign up for one of seven charter boats departing at four different times.  They both sign-up for the first boats leaving at 8am.

A local man helps Shane & Andrew’s car get started and are able to check-in at the Pit Stop in 3rd.  James & Sarah manage to catch up and pass Lucy & Emilia at the Tropicana allowing them to step on the Mat 4th with the sisters in 5th.

Joseph & Grace arrive at the Mat, but Grant says he can’t check them in.  They are issued a 2-hour penalty for their pulling James & Sarah’s stuff out of the taxi in Paris.  They wait off to the side as Sticky & Sam, who had caught up to them at the Tropicana, get back on track after getting lost again to officially check-in 6th. 

Next morning, Paul & Steve and Michelle & Jo head out on the water with the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams will have to use a nautical chart, compass and provided coordinates to locate “the old fisherman of the sea” who will give them their next clue.  However, if they catch a fish on the way, they will automatically be handed the next clue without having to find the fisherman.  If they fail to do either within the time limit, they’ll get a four hour penalty.

Steve seems comfortable, but Jo is struggling.  The second pair, Shane & Andrew and James & Sarah set off from the marina just as Steve finds the fisherman.  Jo decides to just follow their boat and they both get the next clue, the Detour.


This Detour, celebrates two of Cuba’s historic icons and teams must head to Old Havana.
In Che Puzzle, teams head to the Plaza de la Catedral where they must put together a 90-piece puzzle of the iconic image of Che Guevara.
In Daiquiri Guzzle, teams head to the El Floridita Bar, which Ernest Hemingway frequented, where they’ll make six daiquiris each to deliver using one hand to Hemingway’s old room at the Hotel Ambos Mundos.

Back in the water, James is having trouble pinpointing the fisherman’s location while Shane decides to start fishing early and catches one.  Lucy & Emilia set off as the only team departing at 9am. 

Paul & Steve initially decide to go for the puzzle, but can’t find the location so they head over to the daiquiris instead.  Having trouble with their new, more modern car, Michelle & Jo and run into Shane & Andrew and they decide to work together to find the Plaza.

Paul & Steve finish making the drinks and start walking down the street when they run into a festival of people trying to mess with them.  Meanwhile, at the Plaza, Michelle & Jo get locals to help them put the puzzle together.  On the water, James’ split second decision helps him and Sarah get the clue just as their time was running out.  Lucy & Emilia are close behind and both teams catch up at the Plaza.

Paul & Steve finish the Detour and get the next clue telling teams to drive to Australia, a town southeast of Havana, and find a crocodile farm.

At the Detour, Grace, who insisted on doing the daiquiris, drops her glasses and they have to switch and are now in last. 

At the crocodile farm, teams must fill a wheelbarrow with fish and feed the crocodiles in a pit before having to lasso one to receive their next clue.  Paul & Steve breeze through the task.  Teams can now make their way to the Pit Stop by walking to boats and taking them across the Laguna del Tesoro Nature Reserve to the Mat near the bungalows. 

Paul & Steve claim another leg win and a trip to Queensland.  Shane & Andrew jump up to officially check-in 2nd while Michelle & Jo take 3rd.  James & Sarah complete their comeback by finishing 4th. Lucy & Emilia check-in 5th.

Sticky & Sam, who finish the Detour before Joseph & Grace, again get lost heading to Australia.  That allows the siblings to arrive at the crocodile farm before them and head to the Pit Stop to officially finish 6th.

After checking-in, James & Sarah and Joseph & Grace run into each other.  Joseph & Grace apologize for stealing their cab in Paris and Grace gives them a hug.  Sarah can believe Joseph’s sincerity, but she says Grace is fake.  Joseph offers to make it up to them by helping in the future.  Afterwards, Grace says she has no intention of making it up to them at all.

Darkness falls and Sticky & Sam arrive at the Mat and Grant tells them they are officially eliminated from the Race.

Episode Thoughts
An interesting leg.  The staggered departure times for the boats at the Road Block pretty much determined the final placements with almost no change from the previous/first part of the leg. 

The tasks themselves were good, but it would’ve been nice to see a little more of Cuba considering TARUS will likely never go there in the future. 

Yay for Joseph & Grace’s penalty, though it would’ve been better if it was given to them at the real Pit Stop. Maybe it should have been considering this was one superleg?

Overall, a solid double-leg.  I hope we see one on TAR21.

PIT STOP
Hotel Nacional
Havana, Cuba

ROAD BLOCK
Marina Hemingway
Havana

DETOUR
Plaza de la Catedral
Havana

El Floridita Bar
Hotel Ambos Mundos
Havana

ROUTE MARKER
Crocodile Farm
Australia, Cuba

PIT STOP
Hotel Villa Guama
Laguna del Tesoro, Cuba

DEPARTURE
Hotel Nacional
Havana, Cuba

Paul & Steve
Michelle & Jo 
Shane & Andrew
James & Sarah
Lucy & Emilia
Sticky & Sam
Joseph & Grace

CHE PUZZLE
Shane & Andrew
 Michelle & Jo
 Sarah & James
Lucy & Emilia
Joseph & Grace <

DAIQUIRI GUZZLE
Paul & Steve
Sticky & Sam

> or < indicates team switched Detours.

Who did the Road Block?
Who’s feeling a little nautical?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

3 Paul Paul & Steve Steve 3 
3 Michelle Michelle & Jo Jo 3 
3 Shane Shane & Andrew Andrew 3 
3 Sarah Sarah & James James 3 
2 Lucy Lucy & Emilia Emilia 4 
3 Sticky Sticky & Sam Sam 3
3 Joseph Joseph & Grace Grace 3 

1 Tarryn Tarryn & Ross Ross 3 
1 Donna Kym & Donna Kym 1 
2 Sue Sue & Teresa Teresa 0 
0 Adam Adam & Dane Dane 0 

PIT STOP
Hotel Nacional
Havana, Cuba

1st Paul & Steve =
2nd Michelle & Jo =
3rd Shane & Andrew +3
4th James & Sarah +3
5th Lucy & Emilia =
6th Sticky & Sam -2
7th Joseph & Grace -4
Joseph & Grace arrived 6th, but were issued a 2-hour penalty.

Hotel Villa Guama
Laguna del Tesoro, Cuba

1st Paul & Steve =
2nd Shane & Andrew +1
3rd Michelle & Jo -1
4th James & Sarah =
5th Lucy & Emilia =
6th Joseph & Grace +1
7th Sticky & Sam -1

Sarah & James Sarah & James – It was almost another disaster for them had James not made the right decision at the Road Block.  Other than that, a solid leg for them.  If I were them though, I wouldn’t trust Joseph & Grace at all. 
Paul & Steve Paul & Steve – Now that they’re dominating, they’re becoming a little less fun.  Though the leg design has helped them a lot in maintaining their position at the top, it would be nice to see them have to step it up and not be complacent.
Lucy & Emilia Lucy & Emilia – They’re holding steady just as other teams continue making fatal mistakes.  They’ll need to step it up now though since it looks like even Shane & Andrew are doing just that.  It’s time to get a little more serious.
Michelle & Jo Michelle & Jo – It’s good Jo realizes she’s got to step it up to keep up with Michelle.  Michelle’s been doing a lot better on the Race then Jo has so far.  But together, they’re still a strong team and unless they break down or make a huge mistake, they’ll be in the final leg.
Shane & Andrew Shane & Andrew – Almost surprising to see them in 2nd, but it is nice to see.  They can use this momentum to step it up and make a run for the final leg.    
Sticky & Sam Sticky & Sam – A tough leg continued for them.  Cuba was not lucky for Sticky and Sam.  They seemed out of their element too, it’s a wonder how they managed to get themselves lost heading to every single Route Marker.  A shame they didn’t keep up their strong start.  
Joseph & Grace Joseph & Grace – Thank goodness they were issued a penalty.  And their “apology” to James & Sarah was laughable even though Joseph probably was more sincere than Grace who doesn’t care who she steps on and only wants to get her way no matter what. 
Quotes from Episode 2.08

Sarah: “This Pit Stop hasn’t stopped.  It’s a Pit Pause.”
James: “It was a Pit Continue.”
Jo: “I’m going to bar…”
Michelle: “Over the edge, dickhead!”
Sarah: “I know I always think I’m right, but if you don’t really prove me wrong, then I am right.”

Over 360 episode caps at photobucket.com/TARAu208