The 19th(!) Leg of the Race has teams flying to Sydney and then taking a train to Newcastle. While on the train to Newcastle, the teams reflect on their Race so far, including how the “Awesome Foursome” alliance hope to get rid of the weak Chris & Aleisha who are not in their clique.
Upon arrival, teams hurry to find the station master with their next clue directing teams to learn a tap routine from the Tap Dogs. When they successfully perform the routine, they’ll get the next clue.
Chris & Aleisha and Jaskirat & Anurag arrive first and start learning the routine while the other three teams bring up the rear.
Chris and an excited Aleisha go for their first attempt. And they easily pass.
After the tap dancing, teams must drive themselves to Byalee Stables in the Hunter Valley where HOURS OF OPERATION. Teams must sign-up for the order they will resume racing at 8:30am.
Chris & Aleisha secure the first position followed by Jaskirat & Anurag. Skye-Blue & Jake finish the tap dancing in 3rd, but end up last at the sign-up board behind Amanda & Ashleigh and Brendon & Jackson.
In the morning, teams must learn how to successfully perform a synchronized dressage routine. But on a hobby horse.
Amanda & Ashleigh whine that having two dancing challenges is so unfair since it caters to Aleisha’s strengths. Chris & Aleisha fail their first attempt as do Jaskirat & Anurag.
Chris & Aleisha go for another attempt and they decide to up their showmanship which is what does the trick. They get the thumbs up and open the next clue revealing the Detour: Pit or Paddle.
In Pit, teams must head to Tintilla Estate Wines and Olive Farm where they will be given 200 olives. Using only their hands, they must remove the pit from the olives and separate them each into their own jar. In Paddle, teams must head to Ridgeview Estate Winery where they will paddle themselves on a wine barrel to grab grapes which they must then squeeze enough to fill a glass.
Chris & Aleisha choose the olives and end up figuring out a good technique to more easily pit them. Jaskirat & Anurag also choose the olives and are intent on passing Chris & Aleisha any way they can. Chris & Aleisha make sure not to let any other team spot their technique.
The other three teams also end up choosing the olives, including Skye-Blue & Jake who initially choose the paddle but decide to switch.
All five teams are now neck and neck at the olives. The other teams, except the Cowboys, spot Chris & Aleisha’s technique and copy them, allowing them to move faster.
Chris & Aleisha still manage to finish first and can now drive to a farm in Pokolbin where they will need to find a needle in a haystack. Literally. Teams must roll out haybales to find a needle hidden inside.
Jaskirat & Anurag are right behind Chris & Aleisha at the haybales.
Back at the olives, both Amanda & Ashleigh and Skye-Blue & Jake fail their first attempts and have to clean their pits up before leaving. Brendon & Jackson fall to last.
Before the Cowboys even arrive, Amanda & Ashleigh manage to find the huge needle first and can now make their way to the Hunter Valley Gardens, the Pit Stop for this Leg of the Race.
Before leaving, Amanda & Ashleigh tell their two alliance members how big the needle is. Chris & Aleisha find the needle next and try to catch up.
At Hunter Valley Gardens, it’s a Race to the Mat and Amanda & Ashleigh claim another Leg win and a trip. Chris & Aleisha happily take 2nd.
Skye-Blue & Jake and Brendon & Jackson find the needle next. They end up at the Pit Stop together and decide they want to step on the Mat the same time to get a tie. But Beau rules that Skye-Blue & Jake step on the Mat as Team #3, leaving Brendon & Jackson in 4th.
That means Jaskirat & Anurag are last. After one hour and 30 minutes, they head to the Pit Stop. But this is a Non-Elimination Leg with no penalty.
It really would be better to just have the HOURS OF OPERATION upon arrival in Newcastle instead of doing a task and then have teams get equalized at a faux-sign-up board.
I say “faux” because we all know the teams will essentially resume the Race at the same time in the morning anyway. Honestly, every single one of the sign-up boards have been completely meaningless all season.
The tap dancing was a good task to start the Leg off with. But it was all negated anyway by that HOURS OF OPERATION.
The hobby horse dressage task was fun. And that Always Sunny in Philadelphia music playing as they performed was hilarious. It definitely helps keep the task different from the usual dressage tasks with actual horses which actually might be more difficult.
Knowing (expecting?) this to be a Non-Elimination Leg, the tedious Detour options were okay. For both tasks, it just involves teams needing to push forward and get through them. But it was great to see all five teams at the olives neck and neck. This would’ve been a good U-Turn spot as well, if we were so inclined for unnecessary drama. lol
The haybales task was fun to see. And again, on a Non-Elimination Leg, it’s alright to have this infamous task. Though they definitely made it a little easier since apparently each team got their own haybale. They didn’t need to search through multiple ones. All they had to do was go back through the hay they’ve already rolled out instead of moving on to another and possibly missing the HUGE needle.
Anyway, we get another no penalty Non-Elimination Leg. And after 76 Legs this season, there’s really no point in questioning the show’s odd, random decisions. I’ll just say that Non-Eliminations should absolutely have penalties for the last place team. Especially when teams who don’t even finish in last get horrible penalties and disadvantages. How is that fair at all?
Overall, the Leg was good and the episode was above average. It could’ve used a Road Block. But there probably was a Road Block and they decided to edit it out again. They seem to love editing out tasks every Leg
My Subjective Team Rankings
It was great to see Chris & Aleisha do so well all Leg! They deserved a win this time. But it’s alright. Just seeing them stepping it up is awesome to see. Especially against the *cringe* Awesome Foursome.
At least Jaskirat & Anurag didn’t hand their needle to another team this Leg. Though of course, they were in last, so they didn’t get the chance. Brendon & Jackson have really become the most inconsistent team this season. When they do well, they do very well. When they suck, they really suck.
Skye-Blue & Jake were the least impactful team this episode. Though they’ve really been that way all season when they’re not badmouthing other teams. Amanda & Ashleigh definitely won the Leg thanks to luck at the haybales. But at least this wasn’t a First Class Leg.
Chris: “Where’s the rest of the horse?”
Beau: “They’re still in love. I’ve been divorced.”