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.

The Forbidden City
Beijing, China

Guilin, China


Lijian River

Kindergarten School
Yangshuo, Guilin

Bai Sha Market

Guangzhou, China

Brisbane, Australia

Kangaroo Point, Captain Burke Park

Boggo Road Gaol

Archerfield Airport to 75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island

Lake McKenzie
Fraser Island, Australia

Lake McKenzie
Fraser Island, Australia

Guilin, China

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


 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 

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


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