The five remaining teams continue Racing by flying to Lilongwe, Malawi armedwith 11,600 Malawi kwacha on their Bankwest Halos.
Upon arrival in Lilongwe, Beau welcomes the teams outside the airport where he surprises them with a U-Turn vote. Teams exit the airport one by one to cast their votes separately. All the teams, except for Tim & Rod, vote for Tim & Rod. Tim & Rod vote for Tom & Tyler. While Jasmin would rather vote for the stronger Footy Bros, they’ve got an alliance with them, Viv & Joey and Nick & Femi.
With four out of five votes, Tim & Rod are U-Turned.
Teams must now make their way to Mgona Market. Teams must prepare five kilos of peanuts by shelling them and then shaking them in a process called winnowing to clear the shells from the nuts.
While shelling the peanuts, Tim & Rod ask the other teams who they voted for at the U-Turn and are surprised to learn it was them. They assumed Tom & Tyler would get U-Turned, but then think maybe they’re a bigger threat than they ever realized.
Femi & Nick move into first and can now open the Detour clue: Stack or Stitch. For both Detours, teams must make their way to Chezi Market. In Stack, teams must pack a bag of charcoal in a traditional Malawi way using sticks and string. They must then deliver them to a local vendor. In Sew, teams must correctly sew two shirts using a foot-powered sewing machine.
Viv & Joey, leaving the peanuts last, disagree on which Detour to do. Joey thinks the charcoal will be difficult for Viv, especially after the water from last Leg. But Viv thinks the sewing will be trouble for Joey. Viv eventually gives in to her brother’s choice.
Tom & Tyler, Femi & Nick, Tim & Rod and Jerome & Jasmin all choose charcoal.
Tim & Rod finish bagging the charcoal first and deliver it. They hurry over to the sewing.
Tom & Tyler are next and open the next clue telling teams they must correctly make 50 clay bricks. Jasmin & Jerome are right behind them followed by Femi & Nick. Viv & Joey are finally done with their shirts and hurry over to the bricks.
All four lead teams are at the bricks. The other teams see Femi & Nick’s bricks look horrible and wrong. Jasmin notices they are making the bricks out of sand and not clay. Tyler suggests Femi & Nick fix their bricks before Tim & Rod arrive and catch up.
Jasmin & Jerome ask for a check of their bricks but four get the thumbs down. Tom & Tyler also get some of their bricks rejected, but they’ve made extra and still get the clue first.
Teams must now make their way to Lake Malawi. Here, teams must search the lake for puzzle pieces they need to assemble a statue. But the directions for the puzzle pieces will be related to them by a local villager in the Chichewa language. One team member must translate the directions while the other searches in the lake for the pieces.
Jerome and Tyler get started with the directions.
Meanwhile, Tim & Rod finish both Detours and catch up at the bricks where Viv & Joey and Femi & Nick are having trouble making good ones. They are able to leave the bricks in third leaving the two behind.
Jerome and Tyler relay the directions to Jasmin and Tom. Even though they heard the same directions, both Jasmin and Tom swim to different locations. They end up finding the pieces at the same time anyway. They finish the puzzles at the same time and it’s time for a footrace to the Pit Stop in the nearby village.
Tom & Tyler are able to step on the Mat as Team #1. Jasmin & Jerome are Team #2 and they regret not U-Turning the Footy Bros.
All three remaining teams are at Lake Malawi, but it is Tim & Rod who are next to assemble their puzzle. They run to the Mat as Team #3. Femi & Nick finish next and head to the Mat as Team #4.
That leaves Viv & Joey in last. But this is a Non-Elimination Leg.
I think this Leg was much better than TAR19’s Legs in Malawi. (Stay tuned for TARPHDME recycling this Leg in the future lol)
First up is the U-Turn Vote. I must admit, after the preview last week I was dreading TARAu adopting TAR31’s horrible mess of a U-Turn vote format. Thankfully, it was not a public Big Brother-inspired Vote Ceremony. Instead, teams voted one by one out of the airport. I absolutely prefer this situation over TAR31’s. Beau gets to ask the teams “live” about why they voted the way they did and teams still vote in private. Interesting though how teams got in the order they did out of the airport. But I guess that doesn’t really matter that much. I much rather have the basic U-Turn vote board though over either option.
The peanut task was a good task to start the Leg off with. Especially since all five teams were there at the same time.
The Detour was also good. It got teams to the local market, always a TAR staple and a great opportunity to interact with locals. Definitely interesting to compare them though. The charcoal was obviously more physical. But depending on how well you sew, then the choice is a no brainer. The delivery location wasn’t even that far though which was disappointing. And teams should’ve carried it on their head like the local lady did too. So the Detour would’ve been more balanced if the charcoal side was a little more challenging.
Maybe other tasks at the market would’ve been better even. The market task in Ulaanbaatar might’ve been better here instead.
The brick making is a fine extra task. It’s a tedious task that can trip up teams if they’re not careful (as we saw).
The puzzle task at Lake Malawi was good. It was definitely more of a language task which is always challenging for teams. And it gets teams into Lake Malawi, a definite must for any visit here. But I don’t really get how teams couldn’t just follow each other to one of the three landmarks in the water? Maybe the task wasn’t described/edited in the best way. But it was still a good idea on paper.
As the Leg went on, it definitely started to feel like this was a Non-Elimination Leg. We’re at that point in the Race where we still have one more left and this was a good spot for it. I’m not a fan of Final 4 Non-Eliminations anyway.
Overall, a pretty good Leg in Malawi. I think the tasks all together were more challenging and involved Leg than TAR19’s Legs. I hope tomorrow’s Leg is also as challenging for the teams.
My Subjective Team Rankings
Tom & Tyler are a very interesting team. One would usually hate a team dominating and running away with a season. But Tom & Tyler are likeable enough that I personally don’t mind them doing so well. I think one reason is also they don’t give off the aura of an overly dominant team. Either they haven’t been edited that way or they just aren’t the usual cocky Racebot team that blows past everyone all the time. They haven’t Raced perfectly at all. But they are able to catch up to other teams and benefit from other teams stumbling as well. They’re a fun team and aren’t assholes. So that certainly helps.
Viv & Joey fought hard last Leg, but they definitely lagged in this one. They had legitimate concerns about the charcoal, but after seeing what the task actually was, I doubt they would have struggled as much as they did with the water buckets last week. All they had to do here was drag the bag to the nearby drop off. Since I do like them, I’m happy they were saved. But they definitely still need to step it up to match their early success.
Whereas Tom & Tyler aren’t Racebots, I almost feel like Jasmin & Jerome are a little. They’re definitely competitive, but outside of their mostly one-side rivalry with Sid & Ash, they haven’t been the most exciting or fun team to watch. The fierce moments from them are too few even though I feel like they have much more fire than the show lets on. They should’ve U-Turned Tom & Tyler though and of the votes, theirs was the most surprising.
When U-Turn votes turn to whether or not you’re friends with other teams, Tim & Rod were really the only choice weren’t they? Their closest (only?) allies Sid & Ash were eliminated last Leg. And I certainly don’t remember them being all that close with other teams. So the vote was certainly not strategic at all. Tim & Rod haven’t been one of the strongest teams, but like I’ve mentioned, they’re stepping it up each Leg. So they’re coming on strong at the right time. And them being U-Turned, but still finishing 3rd out of five teams shows they’ve got what it takes to go all the way.
Femi & Nick, on the other hand, really have been falling forward much of the Race. But I think more so on this Leg than others. Their bricks really did look horrible. And when coupled with their poor navigation, it really is a wonder how they’re still in the Race. Of course, The Amazing Race isn’t won by who’s the perfect team. So other than Tom & Tyler, who knows if Femi & Nick can sneak in there and take it all?
Tyler: “Their bricks look like soggy poo.”