Teams continue Racing by driving to Merida where they will encounter a Double U-Turn at Palacio Municipal de Merida.
Pako & Mori arrive first and open the clue revealing the Detour: Cactus or Chorus. In Cactus, teams will prepare five cactus tacos. In Chorus, teams will learn and perform the chorus of La Cucaracha with a mariachi band.
Deciding they would U-Turn one of the returning teams, Pako & Mori choose Lauren & Steph because the other two returning teams had Raced one more Leg than them. Toni decides to U-Turn Tiffany & Cynthia in order to give Lauren & Steph “a fighting chance.” Toni writes “sorry” on their photo.
Pako & Mori choose the performance while Heath & Toni, Angel & Frankie and Kelly & Georgia choose the tacos. Chelsea & Jamus also choose tacos.
As Lauren & Steph and Tiffany & Cynthia learn of their U-Turn fate, Pako & Mori get the thumbs up after their second attempt and can now head to Cementerio General. Here, teams will paint each other’s faces with a calavera, a traditional skull symbolic of Día de los Muertos.
Heath & Toni finish their tacos and leave before Tiffany & Cynthia arrive, annoyed that they’ve been U-Turned and unable to understand the reasoning behind it. Lauren & Steph, meanwhile, decide to do the performance Detour first.
Angel & Frankie and Kelly & Georgia finish their tacos and encourage Tiffany & Cynthia as they leave.
But none of this matters as at the cemetery is an HOURS OF OPERATION! Teams will have to resume Racing at 8am.
Next morning, Kelly & Georgia, Pako & Mori, Angel & Frankie, Tiffany & Cynthia and Chelsea & Jamus are at the cemetery first while Heath & Toni and Lauren & Steph are lost on their way there. They run into each other on the road and decide to work together to find the cemetery.
Tiffany & Cynthia finish the task first and open the next clue revealing a Road Block: Who’s strung up? Chelsea & Jamus finish next followed by Pako & Mori and Kelly & Georgia. Angel & Frankie leave in 5th with Heath & Toni and Lauren & Steph trailing.
For this Road Block, teams must head to Calle 64 and count how many light pink flags (79) there are amongst 3000.
Tiffany, Jamus, Angel, Georgia, Toni and Mori get started with the Road Block. Steph catches up and all the teams are now counting. But they all decide to just do trial and error with each person giving a guess. Toni ends up being the one who guesses 79 and she tells all the other teams. Toni especially apologizes to Tiffany for the U-Turn.
Tiffany, Jamus, Georgia, Angel, Mori and Steph give the answer one after the other.
After this Road Block, teams can now make their way to El Minaret which is another Virtual Pit Stop. However, one team will be eliminated.
It is now a car race-turned-footrace to the Mat. Kelly & Georgia get the win and a trip to Cairns. Heath & Toni are Team #2 with Angel & Frankie finishing 3rd. Pako & Mori are 4th with Lauren & Steph in 5th. Tiffany & Cynthia are 6th.
That means Chelsea & Jamus are last and eliminated.
Again, another potentially passable Leg getting ruined by an Hours of Operation. And considering these are all Zero-Hour, “Virtual” Pit Stops, what’s the point? Instead of the overnight rests, how about keeping the Legs within the day and then having the Pit Stop overnight. The show is intentionally negating half of their Legs for no reason.
Throw in the U-Turn which was also negated by the Hours of Operation. Completely unnecessary. And that’s in addition to the dumb Network 10 TARAu rule of forcing the first two teams to U-Turn. No strategy involved, just do it. That really makes the U-Turn quite pointless in the Network 10 TARAu format.
Anyway, let’s get to the tasks first. The Detour was alright. Typical cooking task vs. a typical performance task. Interesting though that teams had to learn the song just by listening to it and not be given lyrics. It seems teams could fake it basically since they wouldn’t even know if they were pronouncing the words right. Last night’s yodeling task on TAR34 was much better.
The Día de los Muertos was fine as an Active Route Info task. Instead of that flag counting Road Block, a better task would’ve been to find a matching skull in a sea of people. But with COVID, I guess that’s not possible.
How strange though for teams to not be waiting at the cemetery at 8am. Like WTF were they doing to not have just waited there before it opened? I mean, get there an hour early and just stand there until the gates opened. What were they doing? Makes no sense. Though a lot of things on Network 10 TARAu don’t make sense.
Speaking of nonsense though, what about that Road Block? My criticism of it is similar to any task that an alliance might exploit. It’s half the show’s fault and half the team’s fault. The teams, however, were really just exploiting the rules. Or lack thereof. The show should have barred teams from telling each other the answer. OR, make it so teams couldn’t just guess and actually had to count. I don’t know how, but the task as designed was a failure.
And again, the show forces an artificial “close finish.” It’s not exciting to see teams neck-and-neck to the Mat when they’ve just gamed the system in the most absurd way possible. That’s no fun.
This was probably the first Leg I really liked Pako & Mori. Them deciding to U-Turn a returning team and then settling on Lauren & Steph out of the three because they’ve Raced the least was perfect. I liked that a lot. Thank you Pako & Mori! Too bad it didn’t mean a thing in terms of getting one of them out.
On the flipside, I sideeye Toni choosing Tiffany & Cynthia just so Lauren & Steph could “have a chance.” The move would’ve been Kelly & Georgia who are a far stronger team. And they proved that considering they checked-in first even when they didn’t even do the Road Block task themselves.
I’m sad about Chelsea & Jamus. When there are 53 teams Racing, having a team like them who stand out and deliver with personality and good Racing from time to time is much welcome. I know many fans absolutely hate them, Chelsea, particularly. But I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and just think that it’s merely typical bickering and they actually just have a normal, happy and loving family. Whatever their personal lives entail, their Race life was fun to watch. And I’m very disappointed three COVID teams are still Racing over Chelsea & Jamus and Flick & Gabby.
Angel: “What does he mean a ‘virtual Pit Stop’? What the hell is that?”
Chelsea: “I will go home and eat all my cactus plants.”
Angel: “You’re kidding me! Ugh. Never-ending race.”