Recap: The Amazing Race Australia 1, Episode 2 – “They don’t make women like they used to.”

The Amazing Race Australia – Episode Two

The Leg
The second leg begins with Sam & Renae opening their clue telling them to fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  Once there, teams will head to Ho Chi Minh Square and search among a  hundred women wearning nón lá hats for one holding a fan with their respective names on it.  They’ll exchange the fan for their next clue.

Teams had a choice between taking a plane or a boat from Lombok to Denpasar Airport.  Sam & Renae and Ryot & Liberty decide to fly from Lombok to Denpasar and they connect in Denpasar, joined by Chris & Anastasia to Ho Chi Minh City, scheduled to arrive at 12:30pm.

Once in Ho Chi Minh, the three leading teams head to the square and hurriedly run around searching for their names.  Sam & Renae are the first to find theirs and exchange it for the next clue telling teams to fly to Hue and find Tran Than Mai Garage for their next clue. 

Chris & Anastasia and Ryot & Liberty are right behind them as they head to the airport just as the 2nd plane through Kuala Lampur arrives at 3:30pm, carrying Alana & Mel, Mo & Mos, and Tyler & Nathan. 

The 3rd plane via Singapore gets into Vietnam at 4:20pm with just Dave & Kelly.  And the last plane via Jakarta, arriving at 6:15pm has Anne-Marie & Tracy, Jeff & Luke, Matt & Tom, and Richard & Joey.

All eleven teams end up on the same flight to Hue that night and they scramble to the garage, but it is closed.  Hours of Operation strike!  They wait until 8am the next morning when they all rush towards to the cluebox inside.

Teams must now choose an ex-army jeep with a driver and replace the tires and change the oil before receiving their next clue.  It’s chaos as teams get themselves under flowing oil, falling cars, and breaking their fingers on wheel nuts. 

Jeff & Luke finish first and they open up the clue to reveal the Detour.
In Carry Fowl, teams head to Bang Chicken Farm to catch 20 chickens and use a traditional Vietnamese carrying baskets over their shoulder to deliver them to a marked stall at the market in exchange for their next clue.
In Carabao, teams must steer a carabao water buffalo and its plow through a marked rice field to unearth a Race flag to receive their next clue.

Jeff & Luke choose Carabao, as do Chris & Anastasia and Alana & Mel.  Nathan & Tyler, Dave & Kelly, Matt & Tom, and Mo and Mos are first at the chickens, which proves to be the easier of the two Detours.

Nathan & Tyler finish first and get the next clue telling teams to head to Khai Dinh Tomb for their next clue.  Sam & Renae get to the chickens as Matt & Tom get to the market, while Ryot & Liberty and Anne-Marie & Tracy get to the carabaos.

Chris lucks out when he is the first to find a flag in the rice field. 

In last place, Richard & Joey whip out their code words, this time “105” which refers to her squatting record and means for them to hustle and pick up the pace.  “Focus… Believe… Achieve!”  They and Mo & Mos finish next.

Meanwhile, Ryot & Liberty, Mel & Alana and Anne-Marie & Tracy decide to switch Detours after their carabaos aren’t cooperating.  Jeff & Luke decide to stick it out and it pays off.

The rest of the teams are now heading towards Kai Dinh Tomb where they find the Road Block.  In this Road Block, teams will head to Minh Mang Tomb where they will collect seven coins representing the seven emperors of the Nguyễn Dynasty.  When they bring them back to Kai Dinh Tomb, they will be told to put them in order of their reign to receive their next clue.  They can return to Minh Mang Tomb as many times as they need to get the order correct.

The first clue tells the teams to take note of the lines of history associated with the coins on each table. 

The non-participating team member must wait at Kai Dinh Tomb, which Chris & Anastasia realize after they’re halfway to the Minh Mang.  At the coins, teams decide to completely write out the history blurbs without knowing what they would need them for.

Nathan & Tom get back to Kai Dinh first, but realize they have no idea, so they decide to go back.  The three teams in the back finish the Detour and join in the fun at the Road Block.

Sam and Kelly get back, but decide to immediately return to Minh Mang.  Anastasia instead decides to stick with the info she has and it pays off for her.  She and Chris get the next clue telling them to head to the Pit Stop at the Citadel.  Nathan gets backs with the correct order and he and Tyler are right behind, as are Tom & Matt. 

At the Citadel, Chris & Anastasia get lost, allowing Nathan & Tyler to officially check in first.  They win two tickets to the 2011 AFL Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and a VIP tour of the National Sports Museum worth A$5000.  Matt & Tom finish 2nd, while Chris & Anastasia settle for 3rd.

At Minh Mang, Sam and Kelly decide to work together and completely snub Joey.  Kelly doesn’t like her very much, but Joey says fine, what goes around comes around.

Meanwhile, Mo and Luke finish and reunite with their partners.  Kelly, Sam, and Joey get back.  Joey is frustrated, especially when Sam gets the order correct and tells Kelly the answers.  Joey decide to go back to Minh Mang just as Anne-Marie returns and gets the correct order to her and Tracy’s giddy amusement.  They giggle their way to the Pit Stop.

Mo & Mos get to the Citadel, but since they arrive in 4th, they have to wait out their 30 minute penalty.  That lets Jeff & Luke to officially take 4th with Sam & Renae in 5th.

Dave & Kelly arrive and take 6th before Mo & Mos finish their penalty to take 7th.  Anne-Marie & Tracy happily check-in 8th.

Joey and Mel head back to try their coins again, but Joey still doesn’t have the right order.  She asks Mel for help and when she gets it right, asks for a couple of minutes headstart.  Joey says sure.  She goes to copy the coin order and figures the time it takes her to get the coins in order, get the clue, and meet back up with Richard is enough headstart for the sisters.

Ryot gets back just as they leave and he too gets the last clue.  It’s a three way Race to avoid certain elimination.  At The Citadel, Richard & Joey run past an annoyed Alana & Mel even though both are safe at 9th and 10th.  That leaves Ryot & Liberty the first Australian team eliminated in last.

Episode Thoughts
Another great episode! TARAu is shaping up to be a great, fun season. 

I think I both love and hate that TARAu really is looking like an entire season of Switchbacks to previous TARUS and TARA seasons.  This leg managed to recreate some of the more memorable tasks of the past too.  The first half of the leg mirrored the first Philippine leg of TAR5 with Vietnam substituting for the Philippines and a jeep in place of a jeepney as a task before the Detour.  The Carabao side of the Detour itself was a Switchback to the infamous and classic TAR5 Detour that produced the immortal quote from Colin: “My ox is broken!”

The Road Block was a Switchback to the  3rd leg of The Amazing Race Asia 3 that had the tricky task tripping up the TARA Racers as well.

The Pit Stop location for this leg also gave me great memories of The Amazing Race 3 with scenes of Teri & Ian running around the complex with Flo being absolutely frustrated and annoyed by the whole situation. 

Speaking of TAR3, it would’ve been nice if the TARAu teams had taken the train from Ho Chi Minh to Hue like the TAR3 Racers did instead of flying there.  The 2nd flight seemed too excessive anyway, having two flights in one leg is odd and seems like a waste of time.  It did provide an equalizer after some horrible flights from Indonesia to Vietnam.

Grant loosened up a little as host this week as well and the teams started to fit into their real Race personas, so that was very interesting.

It is also very refreshing to have episodes run an hour long (without commercials).  The legs at least feel unpredictable as opposed to TARUS’ recent seasons that had a cut and dry order every leg that has become tired.

Sunsent Point
Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia


Darwin, Australia

Ho Chi Minh Square
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Tran Than Mai Garage
Hue, Vietnam

Bang Chicken Farm
Hue, Vietnam

Rice Field
Hue, Vietnam

Khai Dinh Tomb and Minh Mang Tomb
Hue, Vietnam

Hue Citadel
Hue, Vietnam

Sunsent Point
Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia

Sam & Renae 5:52am
Dave & Kelly 6:12am
Ryot & Liberty 6:23am
Jeff & Luke  7:16am
Matt & Tom 7:18am
Tyler & Nathan 7:21am
Anastasia & Chris 7:30am
Richard & Joey 8:22am
Anne-Marie & Tracy 8:15am
Alana & Mel 8:06am
Mo & Mos 8:24am




> or < indicates team switched Detours.

Who did the Road Block?
Who’s in line for a king’s ransom?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

1 Anastasia Chris 1
1 Tyler Nathan 1
1 Matt Tom 1
1 Mo Mos 1
1 Jeff Luke 1
1 Sam Renae 1
1 Dave Kelly 1
1 Tracy Anne-Marie 1
0 Alana Mel 2
1 Joey Richard 1
2 Ryot Liberty 0

Hue Citadel
Hue, Vietnam

1st Tyler & Nathan (+5)
2nd Matt & Tom (+3)
3rd Chris & Anastasia (+4)
4th Jeff & Luke (=)
5th Sam & Renae (-4)
6th Kelly & Dave (-4)
7th Mo & Mos (+4)
8th Anne-Marie & Tracy (=)
9th Richard & Joey (+1)
10th Alana & Mel (-1)
Eliminated Ryot & Liberty (-8)

Tracy & Anne-Marie Tracy & Anne-Marie – As happy and infectious as they were last week, if not more so.  They aren’t exactly dominating the Race, but they’re doing well and avoiding huge, fatal mistakes.  If they can hang with the pack and maintain their pace, they can stay in it.  
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – They are keeping a steady pace.  Their calm and carefree attitudes, if they remain that way, will help them get through any missteps as opposed to freaking out and going crazy straight to sequester.
Alana & Mel Alana & Mel – An okay leg for them.  I’d still love to see them step it up and go head-to-head with Sam & Renae.  But I do think they have a little more personality than the models.  They’re a little more feisty which could help drive them.
Ryot & Liberty Ryot & Liberty – They were able to recover from a bump last week, but they couldn’t repeat that this week.  The wrong Detour can always be a killer and unfortunately it was for them.  It would’ve been nice to see them last a little longer, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – The Detour could’ve been a disaster for them and it was a huge risk, but they had an otherwise good leg.  They’ll have to be careful not to take these kinds of risk regularly because it could easily catch up to them./
Mo & Mos Mo & Mos – A few forced jokes here and there, but overall still a fun, funny team.  They actually had a good leg and would’ve finished in the top half had it not been for their Marked for Elimination penalty.  For teams like Mo & Mos that might not be the most physically strong, they’ll have to rely on making sure not to make any fatal errors.
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – Not as dominant this leg, but still a strong team.  They unnecessarily got themselves involved in other teams’ drama (Sam didn’t have to give the silent treatment), but if they maintain their Race, they’ll be a team to beat. 
Anastasia & Chris Anastasia & Chris – Like I said after Episode 1, fighting one minute, kissy face and carrying each other the next.  I actually like them.  I don’t mind them and I like other teams more, but they’re definitely harmless and after Anastasia’s excellent Road Block performance, they could very well go far.
Matt & Tom Matt & Tom – A quiet, but solid leg for them.  They could be dark horses in the Race, but the perceived inexperience out of the outback could be one deciding factor in their Race success.
Joey & Richard Joey & Richard – 105!!!!! 105 on the treadmill Charla!!!!  Richard & Joey may not be the epicness of Mirna & Schmirna, but they’re still pretty hilarious to watch.  Their frantic ways could easily go either way in terms of Race success.  But Joey better hope not to expect other teams to be so helpful.  And when other teams aren’t open to helping, not to dwell on it because it’ll just affect themselves.
Dave & Kelly Dave & Kelly – So they apparently have problems with every other team.  From hating on Richard & Joey to the random hate for Chris & Anastasia.  I could probably do with less of the snark on the other teams and the self-assuredness.
Quotes from Episode 1.02

Tom (in Indonesia): “Mate I was wondering if you might help get us somewhere where we can catch a bus to Ho Chi Minh.”

Chris: “They don’t make women like they used to.”

Matt: “We’re not in Australia anymore Toto.”

Jeff & Luke’s Taxi Driver: “I am taxi driver in Saigon City!  I know everywhere!  I know everything!  I know what to do!”

Mo: “I think fat Arabs are like a novelty in Vietnam.”

Almost 600 episode caps at xangatheamazingracecaps


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