If you have no way of watching The Amazing Race Asia thanks to AXN wanting to make the show as inaccessible as possible, I hope my recap will make you feel like you actually did watch it. =)
The 4th Leg begins with teams learning they will be flying to Phuket, Thailand. Upon arrival, teams must make their way to Phang Nga Elephant Park in Thung Kha Ngok.
Tom & Anita feel comfortable with their home field advantage. They manage to get a taxi first amidst the chaotic scrum at the airport desk.
The clue at the Elephant Park tells teams to prepare a breakfast of pineapple leaves for a hungry elephant. They will then accompany the elephant back from the river to enjoy his meal.
While the other teams get started with the task, Rach & Vicky have to go to Phung Chang Cave for their Speed Bump. For the Speed Bump, they must enter the cave and find an elephant statuette which they must return to the altar.
Back at the Park, it starts raining, making it harder and more muddy to collect enough breakfast.
Treasuri & Louisa and Maggie & Parul pass Tom & Anita and get the next clue pointing them to Sarasin Bridge. On the way out of the park, Eric & Rona give tips to JK & Mike as well as the just arrived Rach & Vicky.
The clue at Sarasin Bridge reveals the Detour: Muay Thai or Un-tie.
In Muay Thai, teams must learn and perform a traditional Wai Kru to the satisfaction of the Muay Thai Master. In Un-tie, teams must un-tie the complex knots of a pontoon raft from the shore and pull it across the water to retrieve their next clue.
Tom & Anita, Louisa & Treasuri choose Un-tie. Maggie & Parul choose Muay Thai.
As JK & Mike and Rach & Vicky finish with the elephants, Chloe & Yvonne and Eric & Rona arrive at the Un-tie Detour. Alex & Will choose Un-tie, but there are no more rafts, so they switch to Muay Thai where Maggie & Parul fail their first attempt. JK & Mike also choose Muay Thai.
Louisa & Treasuri maintain their lead and can now head to Wat Mai Kao Temple where they find the Road Block: Who has trouble remaining still?
For this Road Block, teams must remain still for 15 minutes while balancing stacks of coins on their hands and head. If any of the coins fall, they must start over.
Louisa decides to do the Road Block.
Back at the Detour, Tom & Anita and Eric & Rona retrieve their clue while Parul & Maggie get the thumbs up on their 3rd attempt. Alex & Will get it on their 11th attempt and JK & Mike on their 7th attempt.
Tom, Parul and Eric get started with the Road Block as Louisa passes on her 3rd attempt. Tom gets it on his 2nd attempt. Eric decides to stand to do the task and he gets it on his 1st attempt. Parul is one minute away from finishing when she drops her coins. Maggie tries comforting her. Yvonne grows frustrated as well when she drops her coins.
Louisa & Treasuri can now make their way to Lay Pang Beach for their next clue which is waiting for them at a coconut stand. The clue tells them to each take a fresh coconut to Allan at the Pit Stop “down the beach.”
They step on the Mat and officially check in as Team #1. Tom & Anita are Team #2.
Both Parul and Yvonne pass the Road Block on their 3rd attempt. Speaking of attempts, Rach & Vicky grow frustrated after eight attempts, but they keep going. They get the thumbs up on their 12th attempt.
Alex and Mike start the Road Block. While Will talks his brother through the task, JK does his best to stay silent for Mike. Both finish the task on their 4th attempts.
On the way to the Pit Stop, Eric & Rona have no idea where they’re going. They ask locals if there’s a hotel named “Down the Beach.” Maggie & Parul meanwhile don’t even see the fruit stand with the clue. Chloe & Yvonne make the same mistake.
Maggie & Parul step on the Mat and officially check in as Team #3. An exhausted Eric & Rona finish 4th. Chloe & Yvonne are 5th.
At the Road Block, Rach gets the clue after her 2nd attempt. And it’s a Race to the Pit Stop for the last teams.
Alex & Will take 6th, JK & Mike are 7th. That means Vicky & Rach are last and eliminated.
I feel sorry for any Amazing Race fan out there who has no access to AXN because this was an excellent episode and Leg. It wasn’t perfect, but it was full, exciting and fun.
Pretty crazy how the season only welcomed applicants from AXN Asia countries. But apparently, according to Tom (of Tom & Anita), AXN isn’t even available in Thailand. So Tom & Anita and all their friends and family in Thailand actually can’t watch them doing very well on the Race. INSANE.
Very sad that AXN doesn’t want people to watch what is turning out to be a great season of a slowly dying franchise. Who knows, this season could jumpstart the franchise or something. If people could actually watch it, that is.
Like I said, this Leg was very full. The elephant task was a great physical task and of course the thrill of getting to ride a well-cared for elephant is a once in a lifetime experience. Having it rain on the teams made it even more exciting. TAR needs to have more Legs and tasks in the rain.
Vicky & Rach’s Speed Bump was okay.
The Detour seemed very straightforward. I don’t know if it was all that balanced, but at least they were only a few yards away from each other. I think the pontoon Detour should’ve had at least one extra requirement for it. The knots didn’t seem as hard as it should’ve been. The Muay Thai side of the Detour looked much more physical.
The Road Block was very interesting. Definitely not a typical task and that was great. A nice change of pace.
The final Route Marker at the coconut stand before the Pit Stop was also very good too. It tripped up a few teams.
Overall, this was a great Leg and maybe the best of the season so far.
My Subjective Team Rankings
Louisa & Treasuri are no fluke! They are definitely looking like the team to beat this season. Strong, consistent. They’ve got a great shot.
JK & Mike might have to be the most fun team this season. They’re funny without being annoying. And the fact that they do just enough to stay in the Race makes them all the more amusing to watch. You also can’t easily count them out either. So that should be interesting.
Tom & Anita are definitely very competitive. It would be cool to see their “rivalry” with Louisa & Treasuri heat up in future Legs. They are all-Race, all the time, but they aren’t racebots which is good.
Eric & Rona are definitely a darkhorse team. They’re quietly consistent while being a fun team the rest of the time. Maggie & Parul are also doing very well too.
It’s too bad Vicky & Rach weren’t able to make up time. They were certainly fun and added some amusing drama at points during the Race. Even though I feel like some of it may be shtick. Still, they were enjoyable to watch.
Of the two beauty queen teams, Chloe & Yvonne are the more invisible pair. That might be a sign they make it very far in the Race. Alex & Will are also pretty consistent, despite their rough start. I do think they’re poised to move up very soon.
Overall, a great cast so far.
JK: “Don’t worry about my face, okay? There’s always plastic surgery.”
Vicky: “You don’t know anything right? So just shut up.”
Mike: “I got a really good view of your ass.”
JK: “Did you just touch my ass?”
Mike: “No I didn’t!”
Mike: “I might have.”
Mike: “This view and this scenery and this experience would’ve been perfect if not for your ass on my face.”
Louisa: “Bikini is not good for this Race.”
JK: *kiss* “Gross! You’re so salty! Ewe.”
JK: “For the first time in my life, I kissed another man on the cheeks. It was the worst taste in the world. That was horrible.”