Recap: The Amazing Race Asia 5, Episode 9 – “We’re just hoping for mercy.”

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The penultimate Leg begins with teams needing to hop on a train to Banyuwangi. Treasuri & Louisa know the other teams have formed an alliance, but they have no problem going it on their own as they have already been doing.

Once in Banyuwangi, teams must head to Sanggar Genjah Arum. But HOURS OF OPERATION! There is a sign-up board on the door for the next morning. Chloe & Yvonne, Maggie & Parul, Treasuri & Louisa and Eric & Rona sign-up 1 through 4 respectively.

In the morning, teams will enter the shop in that order and receive coffee and their clue from coffee master Mr. Setiawan Subekti. Eric & Rona respectfully turn down the coffee because they are Mormon.

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After enjoying the fresh, local coffee, teams must make their way to Kawah Ijen and hike three kilometers up to the top where a Yield awaits.

Chloe & Yvonne arrive at the Yield after the long 2-hour hike and decide not to use it. They open the clue and it reveals the Road Block: Who wants to crush it?

For this Road Block, teams must harvest, carry, crush and pack 80 kilograms worth of sulfur from sulfur slates.

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As Yvonne starts the Road Block, Maggie & Parul arrive at the Yield and choose to use it on Treasuri & Louisa. Parul and Eric do the Road Block and encourage each other.

The Yield is over and Louisa must perform the Road Block. Louisa is able to save time by observing the other teams.

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Eric is able to crush it first and he and Rona can now make their way to SDN 2 Kemiren, Kecamatn Glagah where they must search for their next clue. BUT! A U-Turn is ahead!

Parul finishes next followed by Yvonne. Louisa finishes and Treasuri carries her down the mountain on her back.

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Eric & Rona arrive at the U-Turn and do not hesitate to slap Treasuri & Louisa’s faces on it. They proceed to the Detour: Dragon Horse or Human Bull.

In Dragon Horse, teams must dress a horse in traditional Jaran Kencak for a wedding procession. They will then join the procession and receive their next clue from the newlyweds.
In Human Bull, teams must transfer handfuls of rice husk across a rice paddy to fill a marked basket while avoiding the kebo-keboan.
This is a Limited Stations Detour with only two slots at either.

Team Philippines choose Dragon Horse. That forces Chloe & Yvonne to do Human Bull. Treasuri & Louisa are heartbroken to see their faces on the U-Turn board, but they go to Human Bull and hope to finish as fast as they can.

With the kebo-keboan body slamming Chloe & Yvonne into the mud, they decide to go wait at the other Detour. But seeing the Filipinos still doing the task, Chloe & Yvonne decide to just go back.

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Treasuri & Louisa have figured out how to outsmart the kebo-keboans. Chloe is in pain from her ankle. Meanwhile, the judge wags his finger at the Filipino teams.

Treasuri & Louisa are finished with the Human Bull Detour. They head over to the horses, but the Filipino teams are so slow and are only just leaving the decorating area. Team Indonesia can’t do anything but wait.

Eric & Rona meet the newlyweds first and open the next clue pointing them to Kali Bendo Coffee Factory. There, teams must empty an 80kg coffee bean bag and search for seven red colored coffee beans with the letters P-I-T-S-T-O-P.

As Eric & Rona leave, Treasuri & Louisa finally get started with the horse Detour. Chloe & Yvonne finish the Human Bull and Maggie & Parul are third out of the Detour.

The top three teams arrive at the coffee factory at the same time. The Filipinos help each other out and it is Maggie & Parul who find the beans first.

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They head to the Pit Stop at Pendopo Ramean. Eric & Rona are right behind them and manage to step on the Mat first. Maggie & Parul are Team #2 and Chloe & Yvonne are Team #3.

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That means Treasuri & Louisa are last and unfortunately eliminated. Allan tells them the teams have only just checked in not too long before them. Allan and Tara give Treasuri & Louisa a hug before they leave.

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Episode Thoughts

OMG!

This had to be one of the most heartbreaking penultimate Legs ever! Wow. Pretty insane.

So, this entire season, I’ve always been spoiled early about the results of each Leg since the TARA Facebook and Twitter are pretty quick with updates. And it’s obviously unavoidable for me living in the US who has to wait for kind people to put the episodes online during the weekend.

So I was already shocked by Treasuri & Louisa getting eliminated before watching this episode. But actually seeing how it happened and the circumstances really got me kinda sad.

Treasuri & Louisa were a dominant team who weren’t racebots. They were likeable and you wanted to root for them. That’s not always the case with dominant TAR teams. Usually, you want to see overly-dominant teams collapse at some point. And many times it’s because those teams are pretty douchey or hard to root for. Treasuri & Louisa were not that kind of team.

I think because Treasuri & Louisa were the ones eliminated, it kind of heightens how this might have been the most poorly designed Leg of what has been a great season.

I mean, as big a fan I am of The Amazing Race, I have no idea if this is the first time BOTH a Yield and U-Turn have appeared on one Leg. That’s pretty crazy. And I will assume unprecedented, especially on the penultimate Leg.

But even crazier, having a U-Turn at a Limited Stations Detour?! That’s just a poor decision outright. I mean, they couldn’t get more than two horses and carriages? At the same time, there seemed to only be two rice plots as well. I think that’s a mistake, especially for the penultimate Leg. I think teams should control their own destinies in penultimate Legs.

The tasks themselves were great. That Road Block atop the volcano was stunning. (With HD drone shots of course!) And the physicality of it was awesome. The Detour would’ve been great without the Limited Stations. Though I do understand wanting to have both Detours done.

That makes me think this would’ve been an excellent mid-Race Leg. Just great tasks, but poor, almost disastrous design. The sign-up/staggered start at the coffee shop did not help either.

And then the Leg ended with recycling the infamous TAR8 coffee bean Road Block?!

It’s just disappointing that what could’ve been an amazing Leg just feels kinda awkward and even sleazy a little bit. Not because of the teams, but just how the Leg’s design kind of fostered all the weirdness.

Still, this wasn’t the worst penultimate Leg ever. That’s honor still goes to TAR Canada 3’s horrific Alberta Leg. =)

ETA! I usually like to only read other people’s comments about the episodes after I’ve finished my recap so as not to influence my own thoughts.

But fans have brought up an excellent point. The U-Turn on this Leg was placed BEFORE the Detour instead of after, like it usually is supposed to be. So, Treasuri & Louisa would’ve actually been the first to the U-Turn board since they finished the Detour first! WOW!

My Subjective Team Rankings

It took a Yield AND a U-Turn to get Treasuri & Louisa out. That says a lot! I really did get Zabrina & Joe Jer feels from them even before the Race and they definitely delivered. They’ve really worked hard all Race long and it was just incredible to see them fall behind only to catch right back up just on pure Racing without any gimmicks or other teams even really falling behind. They really just pushed that much harder and caught up. I don’t even really know. It’s just surprising and shocking and really, heartbreaking to see a team like them miss out on the Final Leg. And they’re not even a team I would call my favorite ever either. But just look at them this Leg. Even with the Yield and U-Turn they were right there with the other teams, even finishing their first Detour before the other three teams did their one.

I don’t fault the other teams though. They want to secure a spot in the final and this was really the only way for them to do that. It’s a part of the game. But it does kind of put an asterisk by their names since during the season, they all basically ignored the Yields (which went unaired) and U-Turns.

I don’t know. I guess it’s just the fact that both a Yield and U-Turn were used that’s so shocking.

Anyway, I like Maggie & Parul the most out of the final 3. They’ve been a solid team throughout the Race and I honestly think they would’ve made the final even without U-Turning or Yielding Treasuri & Louisa. Eric & Rona have been steady and consistent. And I guess that’s enough. They didn’t need to be in the front all the time. Chloe & Yvonne definitely had a little luck this Leg. They definitely deserve kudos for making it to the final 3. But their edit this season has really been the least developed and that’s a strange disservice to them, especially considering they’ve made the final.

Episode Quotes

Louisa: “We’re just hoping for mercy.”

Rona: “The tail goes under his butt.”

Eric: “I’ll kill the horse.”
Rona: “Don’t kill the horse.”

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