Recap: The Amazing Race Australia 1, Episode 9 – “Are you sure we didn’t make a wrong turn and we’re in Iraq?”

The Amazing Race Australia – Episode Nine

The Leg
“Jeff & Luke and Tyler & Nathan, who were the first teams to arrive, will be the first teams to depart at 11:05am.”

Or 8:45am.  Same difference.

Teams must fly out of Krakow to Tel Aviv, Israel!  Sam & Renae and Matt & Tom manage to catch up to a delayed Jeff & Luke and Tyler & Nathan and they all take a 3:45pm flight that gets them into Tel Aviv via Brussels at 1:15am.  Dave & Kelly have to settle on a flight leaving at 5pm and getting in at 3am.

The first plane arrives and teams must now head to the Azrieli Towers and take an elevator to the top of the tallest tower for their next clue.  The surfers make it to the cluebox first and find the Road Block.

In this Road Block, teams will take a train to the Port of Haifa where they will rig a container truck, drive it through an obstacle course and back it up into its final loading space to get their next clue.

The first four teams head to the train station, Tyler & Nathan charm an Israeli woman who LOVES Australians and they take off as Dave & Kelly only just get into the country.

But HOURS OF OPERATION! strike, allowing the married bikers to pop in as the teams just wake up from the cold, three-hour nap outside the docks.

The gates open at 6am and the teams get to the Road Block and carefully try to weave their way through it.  Tom finishes first and he opens the clue telling teams to make their way to Old Jaffa and find the Hasimta Theatre for their next clue.

At the theatre, teams get another task.  Teams must separately answer five questions about other teams in the Race.  Only when the teams’ two sets of answers match will they receive their next clue. 

The five questions teams have to answer:
Which Team’s relationship do you envy?
Which Team would be first to lend you a helping hand?
If the Race was a foursome, which team would you pair up with?
Which Team has been the most strategic?
Apart from your own Team, which Team most deserves to win?

Matt & Tom correctly match up first and quickly head off.  But Dave & Kelly and Sam & Renae catch up to Jeff & Luke and Tyler & Nathan.
The 2nd members of the team, Luke, Tyler, Renae and Dave are having trouble thinking on the same wavelength as their teammates.

Matt & Tom head to the Detour.
In Find Unseen, teams must use a metal detector to search a marked area for a key that unlocks the chest containing the next clue.
In Make 13, teams must play a traditional Israeli bat and ball game called Matkot.  They must bat the ball back and forth 13 times without letting it hit the ground to get their next clue.

The farmers choose Make 13 and quickly get the hang of it.  They get the next clue telling teams to drive themselves 200km through the Judean desert to the Pit Stop at Masada, a fortress built by King Herod and a UNESCO Heritage Site overlooking the Dead Sea.

 Jeff & Luke and Tyler & Nathan finish the task and then finish the Detour in the same order.  Sam & Renae and Dave & Kelly finish the task and both head to the Detour.  They both choose Make 13, but Sam & Renae decide to switch, seeing Dave & Kelly struggle with the Matkot as well. They find the right key after a while and head off, but Dave & Kelly are right behind them despite Dave whining again.

Jeff & Luke get pointed in the right direction after passing Masada, but that isn’t enough to keep Matt & Tom from checking in first and winning a A$5000 computer package from Bing Lee.  The father and son have to settle for 2nd.

Three teams are still on the road and none of them can find their way.  But after a while, Tyler & Nathan get in 3rd and Sam & Renae are shocked in 4th.

It’s dark now and Dave & Kelly decide to stop into an Israeli McDonalds to buy some coffee, but they also get a surprise when Grant comes out and eliminates them on the spot.

Episode Thoughts
It was definitely an interesting leg.  It is absolutely fascinating for TAR to finally go to Israel (well, with the exception of HaMerotz LaMillion of course).  But not so much when the tasks this leg had virtually nothing to do with Israel.  It is always a letdown when TAR goes to these wonderful, exotic locations and then have tasks that could be done anywhere in the world, especially the US.

Containers at the dock, metal detectors, badminton… all non-Israeli-specific tasks.  Well, maybe not Matkot was Israeli, but still.  They could’ve had a little more local flavor in the tasks.  But I guess they’ll make up for it next week when the teams literally bear their crosses. 

The know-your-teammate task was exactly like the task in Korea in the 9th leg of TARA4 and of course a less complicated version of the infamous final task from TAR All-Stars.

This leg also saw the return of the hilariously unnecessary out of the way drives TARAu seems to love.  This time it was to the Pit Stop.  It unnecessarily got teams lost, yet it was awesomely hilarious to have teams drive two hours from one clue to the next.

The editors must have been half-asleep working on the episode too.  From that strange mix-up with the departure times to sound effects signaling graphics that never appeared on screen, it was all very strange.

And finally, I’ve been mistaken.  The teams have been given American dollars at the start of each leg, not Australian dollars.  I guess that would certainly be easier than carrying and exchanging Australian dollars.

Niedzica Castle
Niedzica, Poland


Brussels, Belgium

Tel Aviv, Israel

Azrieli Center
Tel Aviv

Port of Haifa
Haifa, Israel

Hasimta Theatre
Jaffa, Tel Aviv

Jerusalem Beach
Tel Aviv


Niedzica Castle
Niedzica, Poland

Jeff & Luke 8:45am
Tyler & Nathan 8:46am
Sam & Renae 10:07am
Dave & Kelly 11:33am
Matt & Tom 11:34am



< or > indicate teams switched Detours.

Who did the Road Block?
Who’s Your Driving Force?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

4 Matt Tom 5
5 Tyler Nathan 4
4 Jeff Luke 5
6 Dave Kelly 3
4 Sam Renae 5

3 Anastasia Chris 5
2 Alana Mel 4
2 Mo Mos 3
1 Joey Richard 2
1 Tracy Anne-Marie 2
2 Ryot Liberty 0


1st Matt & Tom (+4)
2nd Jeff & Luke (-1)
3rd Tyler & Nathan (-1)
4th Sam & Renae (-1)
Eliminated Dave & Kelly (-1)

Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – Still the team I’m rooting for until the end.  Nice crying scene, good Racing, what’s not to like?
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – It seems their train ordeal has humbled them and I liked them a lot this leg.  Fun moments with them this week even though it was far from a perfect leg from them.  
Matt & Tom Matt & Tom – The farmers know how to keep their leads.  At the very least, they know how to maintain position, whether that be at the top or at the bottom of the pack, they maintain it until the Pit Stop.  Which really means how they start a leg determines how well they finish it.
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – Certainly a leg fitting for their bumpy Race performance since Leg 2.  I can’t sympathize with their “man’s world” comments though since the Race has been pretty balanced in terms of male-skewing and non-male-skewing tasks in the sense that aside from last week’s log task, teams have mostly had tasks that did not favor men over women.   And their poor performance hasn’t been due to the difficulty of tasks anyway.
Dave & Kelly Dave & Kelly – It’s about time.  Dave’s negative energy has been around since the first leg.  The unnecessary provocation, pointless snark, and unfunny jokes coupled with the constant whining and bitching was not at all enjoyable to watch. 

Quotes from Episode 1.09

Matt: “I’m hoping there’s some women around with dangerous curves.”

Jeff: “Are you sure we didn’t make a wrong turn and we’re in Iraq?”

Luke: “We just pulled over back there and asked Rambo whether or not he could give us some directions.  So he put down his M-16 and let us know we’d just gone past Masada.”

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