Recap: The Amazing Race Asia 5, Episode 3 – "You don't have to stroke me, it's okay."

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Teams must travel back to Jakarta and purchase tickets at the Garuda Indonesia office so they can fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. All teams will be on the same flight departing at 8:25am.

Once in Kuala Lumpur, teams must make their way to Menara Great Eastern, the headquarters of Great Eastern Life in Malaysia. Eric & Rona arrive first and find the Road Block: Who understands the value of insurance?

For this Road Block, teams must rappel down the side of the building to grab a Great Eastern flag which they will present to the CEO of Great Eastern Life Malaysia in exchange for their next clue.

Rona has no problem with the task and she gets the next clue telling teams to hop on a train from KL Sentral north to Penang.

Tom is next to complete the Road Block. Treasuri is about to start rappelling, but is pulled back up because of lightning.

Eric & Rona and Tom & Anita get to the train station and learn that the next train to Penang is in two hours at 5:50pm.

The weather clears and Treasuri and Parul are next to complete the Road Block. JK and Will rappel after them, but neither see the flag on their way down so they must repeat the task.

Treasuri & Louisa arrive at the train station and learn that there’s actually an earlier, fully booked train at 5:20pm. They go around asking 5:20 passengers if they can switch tickets and are able to secure some.

At Great Eastern, Chloe and Vicky are next, but only Chloe grabs a flag. Vicky is upset Rach didn’t answer him when he asked what color the flag as. Alex & Will also argue a little about how the flag didn’t even look like one.

Will and JK go down for their 2nd attempts and grab the flag this time as does Vicky.

Treasuri & Louisa are on the first train leaving at 5:20pm. Eric & Rona, Tom & Anita, Parul & Maggie and Chloe & Yvonne are on the 5:50pm train. Alex & Will and JK & Mike get on the 8pm train.

Vicky & Rach buy tickets, but realize they are at the Old KL Station. They argue out of frustration from their rough day, but they get on the same 8pm train as the guys.

Treasuri & Louisa arrive in Penang and must now make their way to The Waterfall Hill Temple. But… HOURS OF OPERATION. Teams must return after sunrise.

At sunrise, teams must climb over 500 steps to the temple at the top where they will receive their next clue which points them to the Clan Jetties. The cluebox is one of the many jetties.

Tom & Anita are first to find the clue which reveals the Detour: Street Art or Street Play.
In Street Art, teams must ride a trishaw around Armenian Street and find five Penang murals. Teams must then convince locals to take pictures with them in specific poses.
In Street Play, teams must head to Han Jiang Ancestral Temple and learn how to perform a two-minute Chinese opera fight routine and perform it for a judge to receive their next clue.

Tom & Anita choose Street Art while JK & Mike, Parul & Maggie, Alex & Will, Chloe & Yvonne and Vicky & Rach choose Street Play. Eric & Rona and Treasuri & Louisa have trouble finding the jetty. Treasuri & Louisa get the critical info from Vicky & Rach. They use Street Art. Eric & Rona choose Street Play.

With only four stations at the temple, Vicky & Rach decide to wait. Eric & Rona get to the temple and decide to switch Detours.

Mike grows annoyed with JK at the Detour and it comes to boil with JK accidentally hitting him in the eye. Alex & Will and Chloe & Yvonne go for their first attempts, but get the thumbs down.

At the other Detour, Treasuri & Louisa are the first to get all the photos they need and are given the next clue (with a “helpful map”) directing them to head to the Pit Stop at Hean Boo Thean Temple.

Treasuri & Louisa step on the Mat, are welcomed by Zabrina & Joe Jer, the very first all-female team to win The Amazing Race and are officially checked in by Allan as Team #1.

Alex & Will get the thumbs up with their performance and head to the Pit Stop as Team #2. Chloe & Yvonne are Team #3. Tom & Anita’s bike break is broken, but they are able to complete the Detour and head to the Mat in 4th place.

Parul & Maggie get the thumbs up on their 1st attempt. Eric & Rona get their photos approved. Both teams make their way to the Mat and it’s a Team Philippines reunion for the 5th and 6th team, respectively.

Rach & Vicky go for their first attempt, but they get the thumbs down. JK & Mike fail their second attempt. Rach & Vicky fail another attempt and that allows JK & Mike to finally get the thumbs up.

JK & Mike head to the Pit Stop and check in as Team #7. That means Rach & Vicky are last.

But this is a Non-Elimination Leg and they are still in the Race.

Episode Thoughts

This was a pretty solid Leg. The train ride and Hours of Operation felt a little awkward though. It kind of cut right in the middle of the episode. I think a full Leg in Kuala Lumpur or a full Leg in Penang would’ve been nice.

But I get the logistics of the Leg design. And at least this was a Non-Elimination Leg.

Tying the requisite rappel task to TARA5 sponsor Great Eastern Life was pretty good. But it was even more interesting how teams actually did not grab the flag on the way down. You’d think it was a straightforward task. But I do get how they might have been confused. When Allan described the task, I also assumed a regular yellow and red TAR flag and not that little Great Eastern banner/sticker thing Velcroed to the building.

The two extra Route Markers in George Town were fine.

The Detour though, I’m not sure through the editing how balanced this might have been. I guess both locations were in the same area, so that’s okay. But there were some points when the performance seemed much easier and other parts where the murals were easier. Maybe because of that, it really was balanced after all. Both tasks on their own were typical, solid TAR tasks.

It was very awesome to see Zabrina & Joe Jer at the Mat. And with one of the season’s all-female teams winning the Leg as well. Is this foreshadowing that another all-female team will win? Again, TAR Asia has had some of the strongest all-female teams on any TAR franchise.

And I am again amused by all the shits! lol Teams saying “Shit!” that is. Very refreshing and different. Hehe.

Overall, another solid Leg and episode.

My Subjective Team Rankings

Another week and I still think all the teams are pretty close together in my rankings. I’m enjoying them all and each has brought something to the table, so that’s great.

Louisa & Treasuri definitely made a big impression this Leg. I already got the Zabrina & Joe Jer vibe from them pre-Race. So having them win on a Leg when the first all-female winning team are the Pit Stop greeters is pretty amazing juxtaposition. (Is that the right word?) I think they could go all the way.

I will admit JK & Mike weren’t my favorites judging from the pre-Race videos and stuff. But I think they’ve been one of the more enjoyable teams this season. I really did not expect Mike to be the straight man to JK’s jokester ways. It’s been very amusing to watch.

Eric & Rona, despite Eric being a big, buff athlete, definitely come across as the underdogs. They’ve been steady and consistent. Not a bad way to move along in the Race, especially when I do see them able to step it up when they need to. Maggie & Parul had a solid Leg despite their placement. They’ve also been pretty consistent and it’s great to see them game for anything that comes their way.

I did not expect Tom & Anita to be all that fierce of a competitor. But they’re definitely a team to watch out for. This episode especially showed they are very competitive. They may have some bickering moments with each other, but if they ever were to face off against another team, it could get very heated. That would be fun.

Again, I don’t know if Vicky & Rach are playing to the camera too much or if their little back and forth is natural. There are times when it’s either one I think. But they’ve still been fun. I kind of question their decision to wait at the Detour though. It didn’t seem like the best idea, though the editing did not really fully show the difficulty and/or time for each task.

Chloe & Yvonne were pretty invisible this episode. A very quiet Leg for them. Alex & Will had some exciting moments early in the episode, but also faded into the background in the 2nd half even though they finished 2nd. A solid Leg, Race-wise.

Episode Quotes

JK: “My crotch is in my throat.”

JK: “We are not built for Amazing Race, we are built for Amazing Failures.”

Rach: “I think we’re the last people on this Earth.”

Mike: “You don’t have to stroke me, it’s okay.”

Mike: “Your face is cramped from the start.”

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