So I think this Ho Chi Minh City Leg might be the weakest of the season so far. Vietnam usually yields solid Legs and TAR China has also been good at taking oft-visited locations and recycled tasks and making them fresh.
But I feel like this Leg lacks a bit of spark and that refreshing feel the other Legs this season have had. It wasn’t a bad Leg, but relatively speaking, it was the weakest.
The Leg begins with a version of the infamous basket bikes. It’s definitely a much more simplified version of TAR29 and even TAR3’s tasks. The editing did kind of make the attaching of baskets seem more difficult. Even with two members and with the apparent heat. But the quick ride to deliver the baskets on the other side of the park certainly wasn’t much of a challenge. Still, I understand wanting to do the task at all and they did okay having to stage it in the city rather than a more rural location.
The Speed Bump was a more time consuming task, but it was placed before ANOTHER Face Off so it was a little less of a penalty than it would have been otherwise.
I don’t know how I feel about the Face Off on every Leg. It puts a bigger spotlight on the actual tasks because you’re not going to have an amazing Face Off task every Leg. (TARPH2 proved that.) Some will be duds, others will be amazing. And it looks like next Leg has another one too.
I did like this Face Off task though. It was something different and creative. Both the tossing and catching of rice and then the eating of the rice itself are both solid Face Off challenges. Better than TAR Canada’s sports at least. I was surprised though that all teams really went for it. Like, if I were the team behind and saw the other team already starting to eat the rice, I probably wouldn’t even try to start mine. But all teams furiously ate their rice and even finished despite losing the Face Off. That’s pretty good.
The Detour was very simple. Both more tedious tasks, but not necessarily exciting TV. I do like that they were detail-oriented tasks, But being part of a Leg where there wasn’t any really a standout task or challenge, the blandness of the Detour is really heightened.
The karaoke task was presented as the highlight of the Leg. I honestly think it deserved a little less time in the episode. Differing from TARC4’s Detour in the same location, teams had to memorize a popular Chinese song which had been translated to Vietnamese. That’s a good extra challenge on top of having to memorize another language.
And that was it. A very simple Leg with not much excitement.
Teams were all fine this Leg. I’m kinda sad to see the Zhangs go. While Zhang Jike did seem like he wasn’t all that interested to be here, Papa Zhang seemed to be having a good time. They also still did all the tasks, except for the RB Zhang Jike quit at because of a pre-Race injury or something. It’s too bad they couldn’t keep going. Though I’m not sure the full reason of their withdrawing from the Race. I assumed it was Papa Zhang being hot and exhausted and they just couldn’t continue. The show really made a point to point out how hot it was all Leg. I’m not sure.
Overall, an okay Leg, but certainly the weakest of the season so far.
Oh! But I definitely know what Zhang Xiaocheng was feeling here:
I’ve said the same exact things on the freeway myself. lol