Teams set off on the 2nd Leg as they must first make their way to Gwanghwamun Plaza. They must count the number of water spouts at the fountains and present the number (364) to the gardener to receive their next clue.
Tom & Tyler maintain their spot on top and open the next clue telling teams to head to the Demilitarized Zone to find the Prayer Ribbon Fence. Here they will write a message of love and hope for Korea before being given the next clue.
The other teams arrive one after the other. Femi & Nick are the last to arrive at Gwanghwamun, but Sid & Ash end up being the only team left.
Back at the DMZ, Tom & Tyler write their message and open the next clue revealing the Detour: All Heart or All Thumbs. In All Heart, teams will go through Korean boot camp. Arriving at Duroowell Bootcamp, teams must first lug two tires up the hill, then complete a ropes course with sandbags on their shoulders and finally crawling through mud with a weighted backpack carrying their next clue. In All Thumbs, teams head to Cheorwon Gymnasium where they will get to try out drone soccer. Each team member must pilot their drone through a goal to receive their next clue.
Tom & Tyler choose All Heart followed by Tim & Rod and Hayley & Mikayla. Viv & Joey initially choose the boot camp, but they switch to the drones.
Chris & Adrienne hop in their taxi, but their driver doesn’t know where to go. Jasmin & Jerome choose boot camp and are able to leave before them. Chris & Adrienne’s driver ends up just following Jasmin & Jerome’s cab.
Judy & Therese choose the drones and take a moment to pray before they leave. That allows all the other teams to get ahead of them, putting them in last. But they want to be able take the moment in and not forget their values.
Meanwhile, Tom & Tyler think they’ve arrived at the right location so they hop out the taxi. But they realize it is not the right place and have to go back.
Viv & Joey arrive at the drones and start practicing. Tom & Tyler, Hayley & Mikayla and Tim & Rod get started with the bootcamp.
But Viv & Joey quickly score their goals and open the next clue telling them to head down the Hantan River in a raft and search for the Pit Stop, the Goseokjeong Pavilion.
Tom & Tyler finish the boot camp and leave next. Hayley & Mikayla and Tim & Rod are right behind them as Jasmin & Jerome and Chris & Adrienne arrive. Meanwhile, Judy & Therese arrive at the drones and get started.
Over at the raft starting point, Viv & Joey and Tom & Tyler arrive at the same time. It’s a #TeamMelbourne Race to the Pit Stop. The footy bros get on the river first and are able to run up to the Pavilion to step on the Mat as Team #1. They win $1000 each on their Bankwest Halo Rings. That leaves Viv & Joey in 2nd once again.
Hayley & Mikayla take 3rd while Tim & Rod finish 4th.
At the boot camp, Sid & Ash trick Femi & Nick into taking two tires each up the hill instead of just one each. Over at the drones, it’s been 44 minutes and Judy & Therese are still getting the hang of it.
As Jasmin & Jerome and Chris & Adrienne finish the bootcamp, Sid & Ash are literally right behind Rowah & Amani on the ropes course. Femi & Nick end up falling to last at the boot camp.
It’s been 90 minutes now and Therese just needs to make her goal. They pray and she finally scores.
Meanwhile, Jasmin & Jerome and Chris & Adrienne raft down the Hantan River and they check-in at the Mat as Teams 5 and 6, respectively.
Judy & Therese arrive at the rafts at the same time as Sid & Ash. Sid & Ash are then able to jump past Rowah & Amani. Femi & Nick arrive just as Judy & Therese hop in their raft.
Sid & Ash claim 7th while Rowah & Amani take 8th.
It’s down to the last two teams. Judy & Therese run up to the Pavilion as Femi & Nick chase after them. It’s a footrace and it is Femi & Nick that step on the Mat as Team #9.
That means Judy & Therese are last and eliminated.
Much better pacing this episode I think. Definitely helps that we don’t need the interspersed team introductions anymore so we can just focus on the Racing and the teams competing instead.
Though it didn’t help that the teams were split up into a leading group and trailing group. I assume teams departed at the start of the Leg every certain number of minutes and not based on their time they arrived last Leg. So that the teams were so separated like that just because of counting fountains is pretty crazy.
Now, I’m kind of disappointed that we only got a counting task, a nice moment with the ribbon wishes, a Detour and the rafting to the Pit Stop. It definitely felt like a barebones Leg even if each of the tasks were fine on their own.
With the drone side of the Detour, I feel like that should’ve been a task more fit for the Seoul Leg.
The bootcamp side of the Detour is probably the most cultural task of either of these Korean Legs. It fits with the teams visiting the DMZ and the mention of the mandatory conscription of young Korean men.
But I wish it had been paired with a better, more cultural task.
I hope this lack of cultural-specific tasks isn’t because of some fear of being criticized over stereotypes and stuff like that. For the most part, all TARs have been very respectful of each country’s culture and traditions and presents them in a way that highlights them in a positive way.
So the show really should’ve found another countryside task for the Detour.
The whitewater rafting to the Pit Stop was alright. It did give some last minute excitement with Sid & Ash passing two teams and then of course the Race to the Mat between the Nuns and the Nurses.
The DMZ visit and the writing of wishes on the ribbons really was a nice moment. And I think most people wish for the same kind of peace on the Korean peninsula.
Now, I must say I’m really underwhelmed by the opening credits. I love the travel pron shots they used. But the TARUS-style green screen team solos with the TAR Canada font/graphics definitely did not compare to any of TARAu1-3’s opening credits. Kinda sad.
I feel like using the green screen instead of having teams out and about loses a bit of fun and uniqueness to each team. Like, this iconic shot of Anne-Marie & Tracy:
You’re not gonna get that in front of a green screen.
BUT! I must express my love for TARAu’s maps. I absolutely love the aesthetics of their maps. AND the use of Microgramma in them too.
Even more interesting, they actually used Microgramma for this shot of ID’ing the teams while in the river:
I want my TAR Microgramma! lol
Anyway, the episode was much tighter and more like a usual Amazing Race episode. The Leg itself could’ve been filled a little more. But it was a solid episode.
My Subjective Team Rankings
I am so sad Judy & Therese didn’t survive this Leg. If they hadn’t stopped to pray at the DMZ or if they had scored those drone goals even just a few minutes earlier, they’d still be in the Race. Now I can’t fault them for stopping to pray. Being in that place certainly can compel anyone to pray or take a moment to really absorb where you are, whether you’re a nun or not. Maybe they could’ve hustled a little bit more throughout the Leg though. While I honestly didn’t expect them to go all the way, I at least hoped they’d stick around for a while. They were fun to watch.
Now I have Sid & Ash all the way up here if only because they are absolute characters. I feel like they are the harmless kind of villains. As long as they don’t cheat or quit, their shenanigans will be hilarious to watch. Especially when they aren’t the strongest Racers so far and have been bringing up the rear the whole time. They are truly characters and so far, I don’t feel like they’re playing up to the camera. And until they start feeling like they are, I’ll like them.
The rest of the teams though are fine. #TeamMelbourne are really setting themselves up as the dominant teams. They started the Leg out in the lead, but they definitely maintained that lead in spite of stumbling at some points.
I cringed when Chris & Adrienne yelled at their taxi driver. But I’ll give them a pass on that and remember how badass Adrienne is as a firefighter. Plus they both got through that bootcamp well. Hayley & Mikayla had a solid Leg. Rowah & Amani and Jasmin & Jerome were more quiet this episode than they were in the premiere. And Tim & Rod were just as quiet.
Femi & Nick somehow fell behind at the start when they couldn’t find the fountains. But they were able to catch up and even beat teams out of there. They somehow fell behind again at the bootcamp, but I doubt it was because of the extra tires. I think they can recover from now being in last place though as they head out of the country.
Tyler: “Oh my God, why are we so dumb.”
Judy: “Pray on the way. Pray all day.”
Judy: “It’s going up my skirt.”