During the Pit Stop, Alex & Jack have made the decision to step away from the Race. The twins talk about how they have had struggles with their mental health. Alex admits that Jack has been more open about seeking help, while he has not. The Race environment has caused those feelings to resurface and they have decided that it was important for Alex to seek the help that he needs.
The second Leg begins for the remaining 12 teams as they learn they must fly from Cairns to Gold Coast, Queensland. Upon arrival in the Gold Coast, teams must make their way to North Kirra Surf Life Saving Club and find a lifeguard to receive next clue.
Here on the beach, teams must learn and memorize flag signals used by lifeguards. Then, while one team member heads into the water, their teammate will be given three unique numbers and a map of numbered buoys in the water. That teammate must direct their partners to the correct numbered buoys from which they will retrieve flags. When teams can present the correct flags, they will receive the next clue.
Married parents Shane & Deb are the first to successfully complete the task and can now decide on the Detour: Swim to the Beat or Snappy Feet. In Swim to the Beat, teams must head to the Gold Coast Aquatic Center. They will change into proper attire and learn a synchronized swimming routine. Once performed correctly, they will receive the next clue. In Snappy Feet, teams must head to the UGG store and search UGG boots for a golden mouse trap hidden inside a pair of them. Teams must put their hand into the boots and pull out whatever is inside, not knowing there are non-gold mouse traps as well.
The Super Sikhs and the Gold Coast Girls are next to finish. All three teams, as well as the next teams Skye-Blue & Jake and Malaan & Tina choose the UGGs. Sefa & Jessica and Jordan & Violeta decide on the swimming, while Brendon & Jackson and Jobelle & Rani choose UGGs. Dancers Chris & Aleisha think the synchronized swimming will be more to their skills.
At the UGG store, Shane & Deb and Jaskirat & Anurag decide to help each other to be more efficient. Shane & Deb get the trap on their 39th attempt with Jaskirat & Anurag getting it on their 51st attempt.
After the Detour, teams will face the Road Block: Who’s feeling a bit dirty? For this Road Block, teams must head to Gold Coast Motocross Club where they must ride a dirt bike and complete a lap around the motocross track in under 55 seconds.
Back at the beach, Holly & Dolor and Jude & Shannon are in last place. Holly & Dolor order a cab. Jude & Shannon hop into the first cab that arrives. But Holly & Dolor run over and say that this is the one they ordered. The mums suggest they share the cab, but Dolor says absolutely not.
Back at the UGG store, the Cowboys get the mousetrap on their 25th attempt while over at the pool, Jordan & Violeta pass their synchronized routine on their 3rd attempt.
Holly & Dolor choose the synchronized swimming as Dolor thought they’d be in the shallow end of the pool and he wouldn’t need to tread water. Dolor jumps into the pool and it is definitely not the shallow end and he definitely needs to tread water.
Over at the motocross track, Anurag and Shane get started on their first attempts at the Road Block. But they both fail. Cowboy Brendon arrives and gets started. He has a much easier time making his way around the track and passes on his first attempt. Both Anurag and Shane do as well and they are able to hop into taxis first.
After the Road Block, teams must make their way to the Telstra 5G Innovation Centre to find their next clue. What teams don’t know is the next clue will pop up on the screen outside of the building. And that clue will direct teams to the Pit Stop at Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast
Sef & Jessica pass the synchronized swimming on their first attempt. Chris & Aleisha are next. Dolor, meanwhile, is struggling. And since Jude & Shannon have now just found the golden mouse trap, Holly & Dolor have moved into last place. But they finally get it after their 7th attempt.
Over at the racetrack, Ashleigh, Jordan and Rani are next to beat the 55 second time. Aleisha watches boyfriend Chris as he takes a spill on his bike. But he’s fine. He, Sefa, Jake and Malaan finish next. Mum Shannon gets on the track next, but she is a little slow. Dolor arrives and hopes to get it on the first go. But the Mums maintain their slim lead over them.
The married parents and the Super Sikhs arrive at Telstra and remain neck and neck. They both hop on the same tram before then hopping into taxis to take them to the waterpark.
At the waterpark, teams must go down a water slide before being able to run to the Pit Stop. Jaskirat & Anurag are able to pass Shane & Deb while running up the stairs to the top of the slide. That allows them to move into first and step on the Mat to officially claim their second Leg win in a row. They win a First Class Pass which means they will not be competing in the next Leg. But now they must wait for the final two teams and decide to whom they will issue a Salvage and a Sabotage Pass.
Shane & Deb have to settle for 2nd. Cowboys Brendon & Jackson are Team #3 while hometown girls Ashleigh & Amanda take 4th. Jordan & Violeta, Malaan & Tina, and Jobelle & Rani finish as Teams 5 through 7, respectively. Chris & Aleisha are 8th, Sefa & Jessica are 9th and Skye-Blue & Jake are 10th.
The taxi drama from earlier comes to a head as the last two teams are Jude & Shannon and Holly & Dolor.
Jude & Shannon step on the Mat in 11th, but they cannot check in without their backpacks. They have to go back for them, which allows Holly & Dolor to officially check in as Team #11. That means Jude & Shannon are last.
But this is a Non-Elimination Leg. The Super Sikhs have to now make their decision. They decide to give the Sabotage to Jude & Shannon since they were last. That means the Salvage goes to Holly & Dolor.
So first of all, they made a big deal about one team quitting “already,” but it was definitely not what I expected. I certainly hope the twins Alex and Jack are much better now after the Race. But the show advertising a team quitting, and the reason ending up being Alex seeking help for his mental health just feels off to me. If you promote something like a team quitting, it should be for something Race related, I think.
I mean they even kept the little bug in the lower right corner promoting it, after they already quit:
Like, what? I don’t know, but I feel like it’s in poor taste.
Anyway, to the Leg. No departure times of course. The start of the Leg was a little awkward since they didn’t really care to show a sense of time for how teams arrived in the Gold Coast.
The first task was pretty great. I do think having so many teams is a problem because we don’t really see every team actually completing tasks until they get the next clue. So again, a loss of a sense of time and placement for each team. But the task itself is great. Challenging, especially in a high stress situation when you’re neck and neck with everyone else.
The Detour is weird to me. The synchronized swimming is a TAR staple. So no problem there. But the UGG side of the Detour was ruined by having teams have to point out which boots the employee had to retrieve. I expected teams to just run around the store to search boots on their own. And I think that would’ve been better. It kind of stifled the competition at that point. Removed the urgency and excitement. At the same time, the show didn’t really spend too much time on the task. So I guess it worked out okay?
The Road Block, also standard TAR, was good at this point in the Race. And having the slide before the Mat is fun.
NOW! Let’s talk about one of the season’s two big twists. I guess there is zero suspense about which Legs are Non-Eliminations now since they will reveal it as soon as the first team steps on the Mat.
More importantly though, I’m not a fan of the First Class Pass. I don’t like the idea of teams essentially skipping Legs. And just for winning a random Non-Elimination Leg? It feels much too powerful. Even though, one could argue it’s essentially a Fast Forward. But a Fast Forward is usually won during the Leg. And there’s still an element of Racing for the team that uses it.
We’ll have to wait until next episode to see how the First Class Pass is presented and what luxuries are included. I’m not against rewarding a Non-Elimination Leg winner. But not with a First Class Pass. Why not give them an Express Pass to use on the next Leg instead?
The show then has to take it one step further with the Salvage and Sabotage Pass. The original TARAu Salvage Pass was interesting. It was certainly a big power in that a team can save another team from elimination. But here, it’s an advantage for a team that possibly could’ve been last. According to the articles, that advantage could be anything from a personal driver on the next Leg, extra cash or knowing what the Road Block is before opening the clue.
Meanwhile, the Sabotage could be some random disadvantage such as teams being blindfolded or tied together for the entire Leg or having to run the entire Leg barefoot. They could also lose their money, which is obviously the original Non-Elimination Penalty. But remember, this penalty could go to the second to last team, if the Leg winner chooses.
For this first Sabotage, apparently one of the Mums can’t talk for the entire Leg.
I don’t really even know what to say.
Having brand new twists on the Race is fine. But I feel like this new Non-Elimination concept is just so different and so randomly against the basic format of TAR. (Not to mention possibly driving teams to form *cringe* alliances.)
Though I must be careful, because there’s a whole T-Junction yet to come. And if you want a twist that is completely antithetical to The Amazing Race, it’s this T-Junction. But we’ll talk about that when we reach that… well, T-Junction in the road.
Anyway, we’ll have to wait and see the full effects of this first new twist tomorrow. But as to this Leg and episode, it was definitely much better and more exciting than the first. Non-Elimination nonsense aside, it felt more like traditional TAR. Solid tasks, good competition. Teams delivered as well.
My Subjective Team Rankings
Gotta keep supporting Jobelle & Rani. They had a much quieter Leg this time. But that also meant they did much better. So it was great to see them move up and be a little safer this Leg. Hope they keep it up moving forward.
The Tom & Tyler vibes are real for Jaskirat & Anurag. Two strong Legs for them. And like Tom & Tyler, the Super Sikhs are able to fight their way back to the top. They weren’t always leading this Leg, but they were able to get ahead when they could. That’s very dangerous as you can never count them out. So they’re well on their way. I do get them wanting to help others. But… I hope that’s not going to hurt them in the future.
Sefa & Jessica also had a quieter Leg, but provided some fun at the synchronized swimming Detour. Hoping they continue to Race well.
Still rooting for Jude & Shannon. If you asked me who Holly & Dolor would get into a rivalry with, I never would have said the Mums. lol But I’m here for it and I would love to see it stretch out for many Legs to come. They’ve got a great fight in them. And I don’t blame them for hopping in that taxi, especially if the driver didn’t say whether or not he was ordered.
Ashleigh & Amanda were not hurt at all by the TAR hometown curse. Could they be the first team to ever overcome it? I dunno. But they did very well this Leg. No problems for them, even though they did stumble a bit at the lifeguard task. They are definitely on the right track.
For as much as Shane & Deb were invisible in the first episode, they were very much front and center here. They definitely stepped up big time and just missed the win by a minute? It was a very close Leg. It would be great to see them maintain the great momentum from this Leg.
Holly & Dolor could absolutely be the breakout stars of the season. They definitely bring the drama. Whether it’s with each other or with other teams. Teams being cocky can get tired fast. But for now, seeing them be overly confident, though not matching it with great Racing is fun to watch. Them struggling at tasks kind of endears them, even when they get too cocky with comments and the like. They feel a little like Sid & Ash. (Though, not including their out-of-Race issues.)
Malaan & Tina haven’t made a big splash yet, but they’ve been one of the most consistent teams over these two episodes. It was sad to see Alex & Jack have to make the tough decision to quit the Race. But it’s certainly more important for them to take care of their mental health. Wishing them the best!
Skye-Blue & Jake, Chris & Aleisha, Jordan & Violeta and Brendon & Jackson were all fine this Leg as well. I can tell the couples apart now. But when there’s so many other big personalities and with 12 teams still remaining, there’s going to be teams who get left behind.
Amanda: “We ripped off our clothes in milliseconds.”
Ashleigh: “I’ve never taken my clothes off so fast in my life.”