No Pit Stop episode upload, but even without it, I can say that this Ilocos Leg has been the best Leg and week of episodes so far this season.
Everything came together very nicely this Leg; the beautiful locations, the great tasks, actual competition from the teams, fun and drama. That isn’t necessarily something that came regularly in the first 4 Legs. But Ilocos was able to deliver all of that this week. And best of all, teams actually had do things for themselves!!! Woohoo!
The Leg started off with a bang with the awesome “Ox is Broken”/carabao rice field plowing tasks that is of course so familiar to most long-time TAR fans. Season 1 had it as one of the Detour options, but everyone chose the chicken delivery instead (which delivered some awesome hilarity on its own as well).
But, iba talaga. This task is just different and so classic and lots of fun. It is such a Filipino thing, and when it comes to The Amazing Race, the Philippines will always be synonymous with its national animal. If ever TARUS finally does return to the Philippines, you can definitely expect seeing a Switchback to this task, it’s that iconic to the franchise.
After such a great first episode and task of the week, how could they ever manage to maintain the awesomeness? Well, they did. Tuesday’s episode took place at the stunning Bangui windmills. If it looks amazing on TV, imagine it 10x more beautiful in person. Just an amazing, must-see place to visit.
They coupled the excellent location with another great task. Of all the “luck” tasks so far, this was the best one. And it really was more of a physical task than a “luck” task, I think. The run along the beach was a great physical task for these teams and the backdrop certainly just made it all the more awesome.
Wednesday’s task at Kapurpurawan Rock formation was very simple. But it’s always the simple tasks that bring some great drama, as we saw with Matt & Phoebe. The extra “task” of riding horses also helped add a bit of fun (or challenge, depending on the team) to the day’s proceedings.
Thursday’s ATV task is another familiar, yet great TAR task and again, the Paoay Sand Dunes are an excellent location. Ilocos really has some beautifully stunning natural wonders. And TARPh definitely many of them all this week.
The Detour on Friday was solid. The Music side of the Detour was fine, but I do think the Massage side of the Detour underwhelmed. I think that’s more due to my high expectations. TAR14 and TARAu2’s foot massage tasks were HILARIOUS and awesome. Just look!
I think the Ilocano masseurs were completely letting the teams off easy because even the men cried and screamed in pain on TAR14 and TARAu2. Probably should’ve done this task in Binondo or something and had the teams get a real Chinese massage. But even then, we still got Roch’s excellent international-level reaction and the hilarious “This is so annoying/What’s your problem?” reaction from Jet & Yna. On the flipside, Vince & Ed’s “plan” took all the fun out of the task though.
Saturday’s episode has another task, apparently. I wouldn’t know. But Paoay Church is beautiful, even at night so that is a perfect Pit Stop location. Also, apparently, this is a Superleg and this is a “virtual Pit Stop” and the teams are still Racing with RR & Jeck being saved in last.
That’s fine. But I do hope there’s some sort of equalizer before moving on to the next location.
Overall, the best Leg yet for season 2. Better editing, better tasks, best locations. It all came together. Let’s hope TARPh keeps the momentum.
My Subjective Team Rankings for this Leg
JP & Kelvin are still the team I’m rooting for the most. They’ve been Racing to the fullest and have been able to overcome any setback that’s come their way. The linear Legs have not been kind to them, but even then, they’ve been able to fight to stay in the Race while enjoying it as well. Their positivity is such a contrast to certain other teams, so it is great to see.
AJ & Jody and Roch & Eji have both been enjoyable in different ways. Both have been able to Race on their own this Leg without needing help. (Yay!) But it’s the extra fun they bring to the Race. AJ & Jody’s random pagtatalo is always fun to watch. I definitely liked them initially because they are so anti-Dave & Conner. But they have been able to deliver on their own. They’ve stepped it up, both in the way they Race and with their fun bickering. Roch & Eji’s fun shrieking returned in full force this week. They’ve been having a lot of fun while still Racing very well. I also loved them saying they want Top 1. No Top 3 or Top 5 only.
Jet & Yna started the Leg off well, but they kind of lost steam as the Leg went on. Then the Detour where Jet is hilariously annoyed by the massage. That’s definitely not a reaction I would’ve expected from the infamous foot massage task. But what was worse was them wishing only for Top 3. It was disappointing from them considering that they are fans and have otherwise had their heads in the “game” the entire Race.
Matt & Phoebe are undoubtedly a strong team. They overcame their first U-Turn, no problem. And WOOHOO to their British-accented fighting this week! Best part of the week from them. What’s even better is they appear to make up quite easily, so I doubt we’re going to see a Luz & Chen-level break-up after the Race, yeah? That makes their fights more fun and enjoyable.
RR & Jeck definitely provide plenty of amusing and hilariously fun moments. But at the same time, it’s sad to see that maybe their hearts aren’t in the Race. It’s part-defeatist, part-nonchalant, part-Whatevia. Considering how many other teams would love a chance to compete all-out on The Amazing Race, RR & Jeck (RR especially) can come off as just playing up to the cameras and that’s never fun. =( Plus, they’ve gotten ALL the luck on this season so far.
Vince & Ed just surprisingly get less likeable with each Leg. When previously they’ve just had that sort of overconfident, “we’re better than you” attitude, this Leg they added whining to their personalities. And whining is one of the biggest no-nos on the Race. Don’t like driving or having to correctly and fully complete a task without “acting”? Then quit. There are plenty other teams, including those already eliminated who would appreciate the opportunity much more.