Grant Bowler welcomes us to the new season and introduces the eleven teams being flown by seaplanes over Sydney Harbor: Shane & Andrew – Friends and cops. Michelle & Jo – Cheerleader twins who work at an airline. Sticky & Sam – Flatmates, Sticky was born without his left arm. James & Sarah – On-again/off-again couple (uh oh!), he’s 23, she’s 32. Adam & Dane – Cousins. Sue & Teresa – Hairdressers who believe in karma. Ross & Tarryn – Athletic father and daughter, he used to play Australian football. Lucy & Emilia – Schoolteacher sisters. Kym & Donna – Newly engaged. Joseph & Grace – Brother and sister. Paul & Steve – Workmates. Paul is very confident.
Grant welcomes the teams. He tells them there’s 12 legs on the Race and the winners will be claiming that $250,000. Grant warns them the Race this time around will be longer, more challenging and that their decisions will be more critical. He also teases the first leg Pit Stop prize.
“The world awaits. Good luck. Race hard, Race safe… GO!”
The teams run to the first clue on their backpacks. They must take a boat from next to the Sydney Opera House across the harbor to Barangaroo Wharf where they must choose a marked Honda CR-Z that’s been parked in by 24 black Hondas. They must figure out how to get the CR-Zs out of the carpark by only driving cars in straight lines, forwards or backwards. Once they drive their marked car out of the lot, they’ll get their next clue.
As teams run to the boats, Sarah explains her hybrid running heels she calls “hunners.” She isn’t going to wear some flat running shoes on the Race.
Shane & Andrew and Paul & Steve are the first teams to get in boats and the first to arrive at the parking lot. As Shane & Andrew wait to ask Adam & Dane to work with them, Paul & Steve easily get their car out and open their next clue.
Teams must now fly to Manila (woohoo) in the Philippines (“the most densely populated city in the world” – You can say that again!). Once there, they must take a taxi to Quiapo and search among the food vendors for a marked stall where they’ll receive their next clue.
Paul & Steve head to the airport followed closely by Michelle & Jo and Sticky & Sam, but the flatmates go the opposite direction of the twins who are from Sydney and work at an airline. Back at the docks, Sue & Teresa explain their aura cleansing spray that helps them overcome stressful situations.
As the hairdressers trail in last, Michelle & Jo arrive at the airport first and learn at the Philippine Airlines counter that the flight at 12:10pm has been delayed, allowing all the other teams to get on it.
The teams arrive in Manila and realize they have to wait in line for a taxi. Michelle & Jo decide to head upstairs to the Departure level of the terminal and they grab a taxi that’s just dropped off a passenger, putting them in first place.
The twins arrive at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo and open their clue. Teams must eat eight of the infamous Balut, boiled duck egg embryos, to receive their next clue.
Michelle & Jo immediately struggle as Ross & Tarryn, Kym & Donna and Paul & Steve arrive. Steve and half-Filipino Paul, otherwise known as “the buffheads” by Kym & Donna, finish their eggs first to get the next clue.
Teams must head to a bus terminal in Cubao to sign up for one of three charter buses leaving half-an-hour apart to Daraga at the base of the Mayon Volcano where they’ll search for a snake charmer to receive their next clue.
Shane & Andrew, Joseph & Grace and Adam & Dane arrive next. Grace has no problem downing most of their share of Balut, while Dane has to make up for Adam immediately gagging on his first.
Meanwhile, Sticky & Sam get confused and ripped off by their cab driver, paying him P2000 when a taxi ride from the airport to Quiapo should only be a few hundred pesos, as Lucy & Emilia show by paying their cabbie P341. The friends now have no money.
Next to leave, Kym & Donna, Joseph & Grace, Shane & Andrew, and Adam & Dane as James & Sarah and Sue & Teresa arrive last. But Lucy & Emila, Sue & Teresa, and James & Sarah finish and get going, leaving Michelle & Jo, who arrived first now alone in Quiapo and last.
Sticky & Sam approach James & Sarah to ask for 20 bucks, but Sarah hurries James into the cab. Sticky & Sam then see a Jeepney with “Cubao” on it and ask the driver who lets them get on for free.
Michelle & Jo are still in Quiapo as the first bus carrying Paul & Steve, Kym & Donna and Adam & Dane leaves the terminal at 12:30am. The twins finally finish eating as Bus #2 leaves at 1am carrying Joseph & Grace, Tarryn & Ross, Lucy & Emilia and penniless Sticky & Sam. Shane & Andrew’s taxi driver takes a “shortcut” and they and Michelle & Jo just make the last bus at 1:30am with Teresa & Sue and Sarah & James.
It’s morning and the first bus arrives at the Casagawa Ruins in Daraga, Albay where they find the Detour.
In this Detour, teams will take part in two events that usually take place during the annual Ibalong Festival. In Jig, teams must dress up in traditional costumes and learn a traditional Ibalong dance which they must perform for a group of judges who will give them their next clue if they pass. In Pig, teams play a traditional fiesta game called “Agawan Baboy” or “Catch the Oily Pig” in which they enter a mud pit and must catch two pigs each and deliver them to a nearby pen.
Paul & Steve and Adam & Dane choose Pig while Donna & Kym choose Jig. Turns out the pigs are the faster Detour and the guys finish as Donna & Kym switch over. The 2nd bus arrives and all three teams choose Pig.
After the Detour, teams must travel by marked Jeepney to Luyang Beach on Misibis Bay for their next clue. Adam & Dane and Paul & Steve maintain their leads as they open the clue telling teams to build themselves a raft using the provided bamboo, rope and water jugs to enable them to paddle their way to the Pit Stop on Mosboron Beach.
The last bus arrives at the Detour. Shane & Andrew and James & Sarah choose Pig, while Sue & Teresa and Michelle & Jo choose Jig.
As Sarah catches her last pig with her butt in the air, Michelle & Jo continue getting thumbs down from the judges, so they decide to switch. Once they finish, Sue & Teresa are left alone at the Detour. Not wanting to give up on the Jig, they take out their aura spray which appears to work as the judges finally hand over the clue.
While Paul & Steve are on their second attempt and Kym & Donna set off with their first, Adam & Dane are just meters away from the Pit Stop. But their raft sinks before they arrive so they have to go all the way back to the beach.
As Paul & Steve sink again, Tarryn & Ross manage to pass Kym & Donna just before they arrive at the beach allowing them to officially check-in first. They win $10,000 from Swisse, but they also win the first ever… Salvage Pass.
Grant explains the Salvage Pass can be used to give them an extra one-hour headstart on the next leg or they can use it to save the team that arrives last on this leg from elimination. He’ll call them back when the last team arrives for their decision.
Kym & Donna arrive 2nd with James & Sarah in 3rd and Sue & Teresa going from last to 4th. Sticky & Sam claim 5th, Joseph & Grace arrive 6th and Michelle & Jo take #7. Coppers Shane & Andrew are Team #8 and Grant laughs as he checks-in Adam & Dane as Team #9.
That leaves Paul & Steve and Lucy & Emilia. Paul says they should quit, but Steve refuses. The sisters reread their clue and realize they can ask for help so they approach a guy on the beach to help them build the raft.
Lucy & Emilia set off and Paul & Steve approach the same guys to help them. Darkness falls as Paul & Steve catch up to Lucy & Emilia in the water allowing them to step on Mat in 10th place.
Grant gives Lucy & Emilia the bad news first, that they’re the last team. But he calls in Tarryn & Ross and they decide to save the sisters and bring 11 teams into the 2nd leg.
Episode Thoughts The Amazing Race Australia is back! And so is the déjà vu!
It’s a foregone conclusion that TARAu will be recycling bits and pieces if not whole legs from TARA or other TAR editions, but again, it manages to make everything seem new and fresh and just as, if not more, exciting than the original. First of all, a great cast. Seriously, can TARUS grab the TARAu casting people. This is two seasons now of great teams. A great mix of interesting personalities and Race-wise, a pretty level playing field, but still very competitive.
Second, the Philippines!! Woohoo! Great seeing the Philippines on TAR again. I wish TARUS would go back, it’s been 15 seasons since the classic TAR5 episodes. Even though this first leg reused the TARA4 Balut task and Jig or Pig Detour, it somehow seemed a lot more fun. And lol at Balut being the gross out Filipino food. They need to do this task and the Jig or Pig tak on TARUS too. But how about trying some chocolate meat eh? The raft building task was a simple concept as well, but provided great drama before the Pit Stop. Plus TARAu again visually, just looks fresher and newer than TARUS has looked; the opening credits, the graphics… just all fresh. A great premiere episode and a great way to start TARAu2.
STARTING LINE Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Australia
ROUTE MARKER Bangaroo Wharf Sydney, Australia
DESTINATION CITY Manila, Philippines
ROUTE MARKER Plaza Miranda, Quiapo Manila
DETOUR Cagsawa Ruins Daraga, Albay
ROUTE MARKER Luyang Beach Misibis Bay, Albay
PIT STOP Mosboron Beach Misibis Bay, Albay, Philippines
> or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? There was no Road Block on this leg. In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
0 Sticky Sam 0 0 Shane Andrew 0 0 Sue Teresa 0 0 Sarah James 0 0 Tarryn Ross 0 0 Paul Steve 0 0 Michelle Jo 0 0 Lucy Emilia 0 0 Adam Dane 0 0 Joseph Grace 0 0 Donna Kym 0
PIT STOP Mosboron Beach Misibis Bay, Philippines
1st Ross & Tarryn 2nd Kym & Donna 3rd James & Sarah 4th Sue & Teresa 5th Sticky & Sam 6th Joseph & Grace 7th Michelle & Jo 8th Shane & Andrew 9th Adam & Dane 10th Paul & Steve 11th Lucy & Emilia
Tarryn & Ross – A great leg for them and a promising start to their Race. A lot of potential to join the list of TAR’s great parent-child teams if they can keep the momentum. Their decision to use the Salvage Pass was actually a good one. Their one-hour lead would’ve probably been negated next leg anyway, so why not get a team in their good graces now.
Lucy & Emilia – They’re fun. And apparently lucky. I don’t know if they will be able to keep up with other teams, but they are fun to watch. Not as fun as the Big W ladies of last season, but should provide some laughs along the way.
Sticky & Sam – A solid team. Sticky easily proved his arm wouldn’t be a hindrance to him and Sam. They managed to overcome what could’ve been a disaster after getting ripped off by their cabbie (Manila y’all!) and always found a way to catch up when falling behind.
Michelle & Jo – They are definitely an interesting team. They seem to have the smarts, but just falter at the various tasks. Michelle’s (or was it Jo?) putting her hands up in a “I don’t get it!” way at the pig Detour isn’t a good sign if they don’t step it up in future legs.
Donna & Kym – Well, already a lot more likeable than Dave & Kelly at the very least. But they seem like a fun couple in their own right. Very resourceful and a chance to do very well I feel like.
Paul & Steve – They may be “buffheads,” but that doesn’t automatically mean they are dominant alpha males as evidenced by their collapse at the raft task. Paul wanting to just give up was interesting considering his cockiness at the start of the Race. Steve seems to be the more level headed of the two while Paul the louder, more outspoken one.
Sue & Teresa – I was weary of the aura spray at first, but as the leg went on they grew on me. And them finishing well helped. They might surprise and go far in the Race.
Shane & Andrew – An okay performance from them. A rocky start to their Race, but they seemed to pick it up towards the end. Should be interesting to see how their police experience can help them in the Race.
Sarah & James – Hilarious. I have a feeling Sarah will be providing a lot of entertainment this season. From her “hunners” to mooning the poor locals, plus the potential for her and James to blow up at each other, I think they’ll be a fun team. Not only that, they managed to finish 3rd (!) after being on the last bus. That’s a good comeback.
Adam & Dane – Like the “buffheads,” you’d expect these cousins to be strong alpha males, but they were pretty lackluster the entire leg. The tasks this leg were relatively simple, but they had trouble with all of them. That doesn’t bode well.
Joseph & Grace – It should be interesting to see how interesting these siblings will be. It’d be nice to see that typical sibling back and forth but also see them Race well. Grace seems like a strong competitor though.
Quotes from Episode 2.01
Donna: “We’re here to win. We got enough friends, we’re old you know. Don’t need more friends. Always need more money.”