Recap: The Amazing Race Australia 1, Episode 3 – “I’m not the best kind of Muslim.”

The Amazing Race Australia – Episode Three

The Leg
The teams are off on the third leg of the Race and all ten of them are on the same flight to Hong Kong.  Once there, teams head to Aberdeen Marina to catch a ferry to Jumbo Floating Restaurant.

Jeff & Luke, Tyler & Nathan, Mo & Mos, Sam & Renae and a leg cramped Dave & Kelly head onto the ferry and right before it leaves, Chris & Anastasia come running toward it.  But the other teams tell the boat driver to leave while Dave yells his lungs off for them to go, leaving the dating couple on the dock.

At the Restaurant, teams must bite through a thousand fortune cookies to find one with the fortune “Your fortune has delivered luck!  You may now collect your clue,” and exchange it for the real clue.

As the leading teams dig in, Alana & Mel and Chris & Anastasia take the 2nd ferry while Anne-Marie & Tracy, Matt & Tom, and Richard & Joey take the last. 

But when all ten teams are attacking the fortune cookies, it is Richard & Joey that find the fortune first.  They open their clue to find the first and only Fast Forward on the Race.  (FAST FORWARD!  I miss those things.)  The clue tells Richard & Joey to head to Tin Hau Temple on Causeway Bay.  They decide to go for it, as do Mo & Mos who are close behind.

Richard & Joey get to the Temple first and learn that they’ll both have to shave their heads to receive the Fast Forward award.  Joey is gung ho and excited about it and sits down first.  Hair will grow back after all.  They get their clue telling them to head directly to the Pit Stop, the A Ma Cultural Village in Macau.  The last team to check in WILL be eliminated.

They take the ferry to Macau and go straight to the Pit Stop where they officially check-in 1st.  They win A$10,000 from NAB.

Meanwhile, Mo & Mos get to the Temple and find the Fast Forward has already been taken, so they head for the Detour along with everyone else. 
In Lion Dance, teams must dress up and dance a traditional lion dance routine and will be given their next clue when the dance master believes they’ve successfully performed the dance.
In Kung Fu Stance, teams must perform a series of precise kung fu moves to the satisfaction of the kung fu master.  When they’ve passed, they must then break six clay tiles before receiving their next clue.

Anne-Marie & Tracy switch from Kung Fu Stance to Lion Dance, but the other teams stick with it.  Tyler & Nathan finish the Detour first and get their next clue telling teams to head to The Venetian Macau Resort Hotel by ferry.  All of the other teams, except Mo & Mos and Anne-Marie & Tracy make the ferry.

Once in Macau, teams will change into formalwear and play Baccarat.  For each hand they win, they’ll receive a Mahjong tile and after ten wins, the tiles will spell out their next clue… “A MA VILLAGE.”

The first ferry gets to Macau and the teams head to the casino at the Venetian and Alana & Mel are the first to finish.  Their clue directs them to the A Ma Cultural Village for their next clue.  Sam & Renae finish next and head off, but are paranoid and don’t trust their taxi driver, so they get him to turn back around all the way to the Venetian to get a new cab… even though they were going the right way all along.

Anne-Marie & Tracy and Mo & Mos catch up at The Venetian as teams finish and leave.

Meanwhile, Alana & Mel arrive at A Ma and find the Road Block.  In this Road Block, teams will have to decipher clues to figure out the correct order of the Chinese Zodiac.  They must arrange 12 lanterns, each with an animal of the Chinese Zodiac, in the correct chronological order and when they have the correct order, the door will open and they can run into the Pit Stop.

All nine remaining teams catch up at the Road Block and each of them teams up with another to figure out the riddles.  Mel and Tyler’s team-up works and they rejoin their partners and run inside towards the Mat.  The sisters finish Team #2 while the surfers finish Team #3.

Dave & Kelly are officially Team #4, Matt & Tom take 5th, Luke with a teary-eyed Jeff finish 6th and Chris & Anastasia take 7th.

Outside, Sam is having big trouble with the lanterns and she gives up.  She and Renae decide to use their Express Pass and they step on the Mat as Team #8.

That leaves Mo & Mos and Anne-Marie & Tracy outside struggling with the Road Block.  Mo & Mos decide to quit and take the four hour penalty. They head inside and Grant gives them the news and they sit off to the side.

Anne-Marie encourages Tracy, telling her she can surely finish the task in four hours.  They try once, but the door doesn’t open.  They go to the door again and it does open and they head inside to the Mat.  Grant calls over Mo & Mos and… he issues a four hour penalty to Anne-Marie & Tracy for not completing the Road Block.  That means Mo & Mos are Team #9 and a teary-eyed Grant eliminates the ladies of Big W from the Race.

Episode Thoughts
Boy, what a heartbreaker.  I always hate quitting on The Amazing Race.  It’s like… hundreds, thousands of people have signed up for this chance and you are one of eleven teams that got the call.  Then you go and throw it away like this?

And this Road Block that THREE teams quit on wasn’t some impossible physical challenge.  And not only that, six other teams had just finished it.  With Sam & Renae, sure they had the Express Pass to use to ensure their survival, but there were two other teams behind them.  At the very least, they could have waited until there was only one other team left.  And even then, knowing Mo & Mos had quit would’ve given them four free hours to finish.  I think their use of the Express Pass was a waste.

Then there’s Mo & Mos and Anne-Marie & Tracy.  They Globetrottered their way out of the Road Block.  They just gave up.  They just didn’t want to do it anymore.  With Mo & Mos, not knowing what the Big W ladies would do, basically gave up their Race.  With Anne-Marie & Tracy, they threw it all away even when they had four hours to just sit, even take a nap, and then finish the task.

A very disappointing end to the leg, and disappointing end to teams I liked and loved respectively.

I hope TARAu doesn’t turn into the penalty and quitting-fest that a lot of TARA did.  It takes a lot away from the Race and that would be a shame since TARAu has had an otherwise excellent start.

The great part about TARAu (and TARA) has been their use of extra tasks during legs that have largely and sadly been phased out on TARUS.  The tasks make legs more challenging and allow for abrupt placement changes throughout the leg. 

Great to see the Fast Forward too, even though the saving of the heads is so TAR5.

This leg switchbacked to Leg 7 of TARA3 with half of the TARA Detour (the Baccarat) becoming a mandatory task and the keeping of the other half of the Detour and the Road Block at the same Pit Stop, while the  fortune cookie task was half a Detour from Leg 6 of the same season.  

It was great seeing Macau.  It is awesome as the Asian Las Vegas.  And I’ve seen The Venetian itself in so many Korean and Filipino dramas that it has become familiar to me even though I’ve never been. Haha.

There was one strange thing about the episode though.

There was some odd editing.  Alana & Mel were shown finishing the Detour before Dave & Kelly, Sam & Renae, and Jeff & Luke, but were tagged with 8th Place on-screen before showing those other three teams completing their side of Detour and tagged as 5th, 6th, and 7th.  Strange to have them be edited that way. 

That adds to the odd editing choice from last week’s episode that did not mention time credits and/or penalties that resulted in Anne-Marie & Tracy leaving one place below they had checked-in the previous leg.

But those are minor quibbles.  The Amazing Race Australia has definitely been amazing so far.

Hue Citadel
Hue, Vietnam


Hong Kong, China

Jumbo Floating Restaurant
Aberdeen Harbor, Hong Kong

Tin Hau Temple
Hong Kong

The Venetian Macao

A Ma Cultural Village
Coloane, Macau

A Ma Cultural Village
Coloane, Macau

Hue Citadel
Hue, Vietnam

Tyler & Nathan 11:07pm
Matt & Tom 11:14pm
Chris & Anastasia  11:15pm
Jeff & Luke 11:49pm
Sam & Renae  11:50pm
Kelly & Dave 11:56pm
Mo & Mos 12:02am
Anne-Marie & Tracy 12:11am
Richard & Joey 1:05am
Alana & Mel 1:06am




> or < indicates team switched Detours.

Joey & Richard took the Fast Forward.

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

1 Joey Richard 1
0 Alana Mel 3
2 Tyler Nathan 1
1 Dave Kelly 2
2 Matt Tom 1
1 Jeff Luke 2
1 Anastasia Chris 2
2 Sam* Renae 1
1 Mo Mos* 2
1 Tracy Anne-Marie* 2

*Sam used the Express Pass, while Mos and Anne-Marie quit and accepted four hour penalties.

2 Ryot Liberty 0

A Ma Cultural Village
Coloane, Macau

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

*Both Mo & Mos and Anne-Marie & Tracy received a four hour penalty for not completing the Road Block.

Tracy & Anne-Marie Tracy & Anne-Marie – 🙁 It is going to be a lot less happy with the Big W ladies out of the Race.  I always hate quitting on the Race, so it was disappointing to see them quit especially after Mo & Mos had already done the same.  I will always love their bubbly, giggly personalities, but it is just so disappointing to seem just up and quit like that.  This could’ve been a free pass for them.  They could’ve gotten out of Asia!  *sigh* Truly one of the most disappointing eliminations in all of TAR.
Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – They did all right this leg, but their highlight was probably that teary-eyed moment at the Road Block.  They’re definitely growing on me and if this Race is their chance to grow closer then hey, that’s a great story.
Alana & Mel Alana & Mel – A fine leg from the sisters, but they should definitely concentrate on their own Race instead of putting all that energy into hating on another team.  Sure, help it to motivate you do your best, but don’t even joke about that being your only goal on the Race.
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – A quiet leg from them, but still a solid performance. I like them, but I’d rather have another team win than them though it’d be hard to bet against them.
Anastasia & Chris Anastasia & Chris – They calmed down this week, but it didn’t help them Race any better.  In fact, they did better last leg when they had fought.  They were a lot more interesting then too.  Though I did like Chris yelling out to an increasingly annoying Dave though.
Joey & Richard Joey & Richard – One of those “misunderstood” driven teams.   Or just plain crazy.  Much kudos to Joey for being so gung ho about shaving her head, no matter how crazy it was.  She better hope they win the million, though hair does grow back.  That was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – It is starting to look like that first leg was a fluke.  Disappointing having to use the Express Pass this early.  They basically quit as well even though they had two teams behind them that were struggling more than they were.  Not a good way to prove you’re not dumb blondes, as they repeatedly say they’re not.
Matt & Tom Matt & Tom – Good leg for them, but not much else. They continue to be in awe of the big city.
Mo & Mos Mo & Mos – Less laughs this week and even less when they decide to just up and quit the Road Block.  Never admirable quitting a task on the Race, especially after eight other teams had already completed the same task.
Dave & Kelly Dave & Kelly – They keep rubbing me the wrong way.  Not funny, not cute, not rootable.  I found myself agreeing with Chris as  he yelled across Hong Kong Harbor to them.  

Quotes from Episode 1.03

Sam: “We’re going to Hong Kong.”
Renae: “What’s that?  I’ve never been there.  Where is it?”
Sam: “I don’t really know.  In Singapore?”

Chris: “You fat oaf!”

Mel: “‘You are talented with your hands.’  Thank you.  Boys say the same thing.”

Richard: “Oh baby, those um… those hair extensions really screwed your head.”

Mo: “Technically, we’re not supposed to be gambling.  I’m not the best kind of Muslim.”

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