The 14 teams take part in a traditional ceremony with the Kuku Yalanji as they prepare to begin the fifth or second season of the The Amazing Race Australia (depending on who you believe)
The competition begins with the 14 teams assembled at Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, the Starting Line.
Beau chit chats with the teams for a bit before he flags them off. Teams run to their backpacks and open their first clue telling them to drive themselves to Drumsara Station in Mossman.
To get to their cars, teams must choose whether to run down the beach or hop in a boat to take them 3km upriver. There are seven cars parked at the end of either choice.
Choosing to run down the beach are twin models Alex & Jack, besties Sefa & Jessica, “Super Sikhs” best friends Jaskirat & Anurag, “power couple” Holly & Dolor, childhood friends Malaan & Tina, dancing exes Jordan & Violeta and siblings Skye-Blue & Jake. Choosing the boats are cowboys Brendon & Jackson, cousins Dwes & Katherine, influencer best friends Ashleigh & Amanda, mums Jude & Shannon, Filipino daughter and father Jobelle & Rani, newlyweds Chris & Aleisha and parents Shane & Deb.
Super Sikhs Jaskirat & Anurag arrive at Drumsara Station first. At this location where a Japanese bomber dropped eight bombs thinking it was Cairns, teams will be dropping their own bombs. One team member will be hanging in the air while pulled by their teammate. That hanging team member must shoot four balls into a target to get the next clue.
Sefa & Jessica are able to move into first and they open the first clue revealing the Detour: Food or Bev. For this Detour, teams will drive themselves to Mossman Exchange Hotel. In Food, teams must peel and clean 2 kilos of prawns. In Bev, teams must carry a tray of seven beers through a marked maze of hallways in the hotel without letting the beer fall below the red line.
Sefa & Jessica arrive at the hotel and choose the Food. The Cowboys arrive 2nd and choose the beer, but they have no idea what they have to do at first. Jaskirat & Anurag arrive and have no idea what to do with the prawns. They ask Sefa & Jessica what to do. Jessica doesn’t want to Sefa to help, but he does anyway.
Sefa & Jessica stay in the lead and can now make their way to Mossman Sugar Mill. There, teams must search through a pile of sugarcane for a pair of sugar tongs. Then they must use the tongs to find a golden sugar cube in a big pile of raw sugar and drop it in the giant tea cup to receive the next clue.
Back at the first task, father/daughter Jobelle & Rani arrive in last after getting themselves lost. They are behind Jude & Shannon and Dwes & Katherine. And after several attempts with not even one bomb landed in the chute, Jobelle & Rani decide to quit the task and try to catch up enough to overcome any penalty at the Mat.
Over at the sugarcane, Jaskirat & Anurag manage to find the tongs first and maintain that lead to the next task. Teams must make their way on foot down to the creek where they will catch 20 cane toads between them. After packing the poisonous toads in boxes, they will receive the next clue.
Brendon & Jackson, who arrived 3rd are now moving further and further to the back as just arrived teams find the tongs before them.
Alex & Jack move into 2nd once they find the gold cube. But the Super Sikhs are super indeed as they get the next clue pointing them to the Pit Stop at the edge of the rainforest which they must make their way to on foot.
Jaskirat & Anurag step on the Mat and Beau confirms they are Team #1. They’ve won a getaway to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. Alex & Jack finish as Team #2.
Back at the sugarcane pile, last place Jobelle & Rani are able to catch up to the Cowboys and the cousins and end up finding the tongs before them. They are last place no more.
Chris & Aleisha, Jordan & Violeta, Shane & Deb, Skye-Blue & Jake step on the Mat as Teams 3 through 6. Sef & Jessica check-in as Team #7 while Ashleigh & Amanda finish in 8th.
Holly & Dolor check in as Team #9. But they are not too happy about it. Beau gives them a hug to help them cool off. Mums Jude & Shannon are happy to finish in 10th.
Jobelle & Rani arrive at the Mat in 11th. However, they need to wait out a 30-minute penalty. During that 30 minutes, Malaan & Tina are able to check in as Team #11. Cowboys Brendon & Jackson check-in as Team #12.
Jobelle & Rani’s penalty is over and they can officially check-in as Team #13.
That means cousins Dwes & Katherine are last and eliminated.
The fact that The Amazing Race Australia successfully completed production in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is fascinating in and of itself. TARAu is definitely unique. You won’t be able to see TARUS out Racing anytime soon, even if just on a TAR8-style US-only route. But Australia is perfectly suited to stage a Race on its home turf and there’s definitely lots of potential for this season. We’ll have to wait and see how this unprecedented season will play out.
(And yes, including the series’, uh… interesting new twists. We’ll wait to talk about them once they actually pop up on the show.)
I imagine TARAu5 will play out like every single season of TAR Canada. This first Leg certainly looked like something TAR Canada would do. Heck, I think that first harness/ball task is a staple task on HaMerotz LaMillion. Lol But again, we should probably expect such types of tasks on a home country Race.
The anticipated length of the Race and number of teams add a different dimension though. The length especially feels a little intimidating to me. One of the reasons I don’t watch HaMerotz LaMillion regularly is I can’t deal with the length of episodes and the Race itself. Especially when I don’t understand the language. TARAu is different, of course, since it’s in English. And I assume, each Leg = one episode.
Anyway! Let’s get to the Leg. The mini-Detour at the Starting Line was actually a great task. It separates the teams, but not in a contrived staggered time way like usual.
The first task with the harnessed ball throwing is definitely something I’ve seen on TAR Israel. But the way they connected such a generic task to local history would make TAR Canada proud. lol It was clever. Though it further spaced-out teams in a way that was less seamless than the Starting Line mini-task.
Speaking of TAR Canada, that Detour is definitely something you’d expect on it too. (I think they’ve done it several times in rural Canada already. Lol) Simple, straightforward. Teams just need to get it done as fast as they can.
The not one, but TWO! needle in a haystack tasks were both good and bad. Needle in a haystack tasks can be hit or miss and it can sometimes be unfair. But considering how linear the first part of the Leg was, this little bit of a luck task may be welcome. It helps shake things up and it definitely helped some teams.
The frog task was fine. Another straightforward extra task which is definitely welcome when certain other TARs (*cough*TARUS*cough*) like to have as many simple, barebones Legs as possible. It helped to fill out this first Leg. Though it didn’t necessarily change any placements.
Overall, it was solid premiere. It’s weird, but great to have a fresh Amazing Race during this crazy time. This season of TARAu will definitely have some interesting, unique quirks that I’m sure will be heated topics of discussion.
My Subjective Team Rankings
My goodness, where to begin?! I didn’t think 14 teams would feel a little overwhelming. But it sort of does. But at the same time, some teams were completely invisible this Leg.
Right at the top, I gotta support Jobelle & Rani representing the Philippines and Filipino expats around the world. Always awesome to see someone like myself on mainstream television. And they definitely made a great impression in this first episode. Well, except for quitting. I hate quitting on the Race and it’s just unfortunate they felt they had to do so here. It looked like a close finish. So it was the right decision for them wanting to survive. But, you know. I rather they hadn’t quit.
That aside, I got fun Ron & Christina vibes from them. But with less Real Truth Flavor drama. lol They have a great story and were mostly positive. Plus, they were able to pull ahead of other teams in the end. So a combination of luck and pushing forward has them moving on in the Race. And I hope they can do a little better next Leg.
Jaskirat & Anurag really asserted themselves this first Leg. I can definitely see them doing well on the Race. And I don’t know, but I even feel a Tom & Tyler vibe from them. They ran an almost perfect first Leg. Sefa & Jessica are such a fun team. A great dynamic. And I also think they can do well, as they showed here.
Dwes & Katherine would’ve been a fun team to watch on the Race as well. Some bad luck this first Leg. But great personalities. Speaking of, Holly & Dolor are going to deliver some fireworks this season, I just know it. And it’s going to be fun to watch too. Massage gun while running to the Pit Stop? A prawn queen and an African prince? What?! Now that’s a team to keep an eye on.
Jude & Shannon are the kind of underdog team you just want to see do well. They also look like they are enjoying the Race a lot. And that goes a long way in getting yourself far. Malaan & Tina and Skye-Blue & Jake left great first impressions in their short time on screen.
The twins Alex & Jack definitely left a BIG first impression though. I look forward to the sparks they can bring to the Race as well. Cowboys Brendon & Jackson had the biggest collapse this first Leg. They were doing so well and just ran into bad luck at the sugar mill. Not sure if they can get back on track, but certainly can’t count them out yet. Ashleigh & Amanda did well and could be a darkhorse team.
The rest of the teams I barely noticed this episode. I can’t tell Chris & Aleisha and Jordan & Violeta apart. And I don’t remember even seeing Shane & Deb at all during the episode other than at the Pit Stop.
14 teams is definitely a lot to squeeze into a one hour runtime!
Jessica: “I regret not going to the gym.”
Jobelle: “This is not the Philippines, bro!”
Jessica: “I got to beat one of the skinny girls.”
Dolor: “I’m gonna scream like a little bitch in there.”