Recap: The Amazing Race 35, Episode 3 – “No Sleep and a Million Dollar Dream”
Jocelyn & Victor begin the third Leg at 5:24am by opening the clue telling them to fly to Vietnam. Teams will book flights to Ho Chi Minh City at a local Bangkok travel agency.
Jocelyn & Victor, Rob & Corey, Greg & John and Morgan & Lena get on a flight departing at 1:45pm and arriving in Vietnam at 3:25pm. The next flight, however, departs at 7:55pm. Todd & Ashlie and Steve & Anna Leigh have to settle for that flight. But the ticket agent helping Joe & Ian are able to get them on a flight departing at 1:50pm. Joel & Garrett also get on the same flight, but they have to hurry to the airport. Liam & Yeremi, Andrea & Malaina and Robbin & Chelsea have to settle for the 7:55pm flight.
At the airport, the 7:55pm teams are shocked that Joe & Ian and Joel & Garrett managed to get on the 1:50pm flight. However, the four 1:45pm teams get bad news when it is announced that it will now depart at 3pm.
Upon arrival in Vietnam, teams must take a bus to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta. Joe & Ian get on a 6:31pm bus with Joel & Garrett catching a later one. The next flight teams get on a 7:30pm bus.
It is the middle of the night in Can Tho as teams get to the Route Marker at Ninh Kieu Wharf which opens at 5:45am. Teams must take a morning departure time with groups departing every 15 minutes.
Joe & Ian, Joel & Garrett and Rob & Corey get 5:45am slips. Jocelyn & Victor, Morgan & Lena and Greg & John have to settle for 6am slips. But when the last flight arrives, Steve & Anna Leigh are able to stumble upon another 5:45am slip. Todd & Ashlie take a 6am slip while Liam & Yeremi, Andrea & Malaina and Robbin & Chelsea will depart at 6:15am
Next morning, teams open the next clue directing teams to head to the Cai Rang Floating Market via sampan. Here, teams must deliver baskets of dragonfruit, tangerines and golden melons to waiting vendors. Teams deliver the fruits by tossing them to the vendors in exchange for 1/3 of a photo.
With each vendor only able to accommodate two teams at a time, Morgan & Lena decide to use their Express Pass here. Joel & Garrett are the first team to finish and complete the task. Piecing together the three photo pieces, it will reveal the next Route Marker.
Joel & Garrett find the fisherman with the next clue which reveals the Detour: Paper or Plastic. In Paper, teams must learn how to and then successfully make 12 sheets of rice paper using water and rice flour. In Plastic, teams must cut, apply, heat and smooth out vinyl on one body part of a motorbike without bubbles.
Joel & Garrett choose Paper, as do Steve & Anna Leigh. Morgan & Lena choose Plastic.
Rob & Corey, Todd & Ashlie, Joe & Ian, Liam & Yeremi and Jocelyn & Victor are next to finish the deliveries. Greg & John, Robinn & Chelsea and Andrea & Malaina are in last.
Rob & Corey and Todd & Ashlie choose the rice paper. Joe & Ian and Liam & Yeremi head to the vinyl.
Joel & Garrett ask for a check of their paper and need to do three more. Steve & Anna Leigh get a check and get the thumbs up. They open the next clue which directs teams to the Pit Stop at Truc Lam Phu’o’ng Nam Zen Monastery. Joel & Garrett are close behind. They leave just as Jocelyn & Victor (who just miss the rice paper location), Greg & John, Robinn & Chelsea and Andrea & Malaina arrive. However, there are only five rice paper stations, so Andrea & Malaina have to wait for a station to open up before they can start.
At the Pit Stop, Steve & Anna Leigh arrive first. But Phil says they are still Racing. They open the next clue telling them to find a nearby café as well as receive 5500 dong for this next Leg. Joel & Garrett arrive 2nd and get the next clue.
Rob & Corey are next to get their rice paper approved and step on the Mat in 3rd. Todd & Ashlie are 4th.
At the vinyl, Morgan & Lena decide to change their vinyl color from orange to blue so the bubbles and creases are harder to see. Joe & Ian, however, switch to orange instead.
Morgan & Lena get their vinyl approved next, but Robinn & Chelsea get their rice paper approved and head to the Pit Stop as Team #5. Morgan & Lena are shocked when Phil tells them they are 6th. Joe & Ian are Team #7.
Andrea & Malaina and Greg & John get their rice paper approved, leaving Jocelyn & Victor in last at the rice paper Detour. Liam & Yeremi finally get their vinyl approved.
Greg & John finish as Team #8 with Andrea & Malaina in 9th. Jocelyn & Victor are relieved to finish as Team #10.
Liam & Yeremi arrive at the Pit Stop in last, but it is a Keep on Racing Leg so they are still in.
Okay. I’ll start off by saying, unequivocally, this was a solid episode and very good Leg.
And I say “Leg,” though I feel I need to put an asterisk. Because here we go again with TARUS being intentionally fuzzy with the way they describe Legs. It’s so strange.
So basically, this is a Keep on Racing Leg. Which, I have always believed, is just a no-penalty Non-Elimination Leg. It doesn’t matter if there’s a mandatory rest period or a pseudo-rest period due to plane/train departure or if they’re Racing all day, it’s still essentially two full Legs.
KOR Legs can be interchangeable with Zero-Hour Pit Stops. But there have been times in the past when TAR actually did eliminate a team at the end of a KOR/Zero-Hour Pit Stop.
This time, we’re back to the traditional KOR Leg. Other than not mentioning it, this isn’t a MegaLeg since Phil popped up in the middle. But what was most interesting is that the clue Steve & Anna Leigh read specifically mentioned they were starting a new Leg. They got more money to use on “this Leg.”
That’s why when the show introduced the “MegaLeg” as an official “thing,” it really was just a way to do Non-Elimination Legs, but not call them that. The MegaLegs are essentially Keep on Racing legs, except there’s no Phil at a Mat.
Oh well. Most TAR fans probably don’t care anyway. Lol
So let’s get to the Leg itself. I think it was pretty good.
I don’t know, but the “airport drama” just isn’t the same anymore. Gone are the days of masterful flight maneuvering like that of Charla & Mirna. Or tense airport drama too. So spending the first, basically half-hour of TV time on the flights and then taking morning departure times can be very tedious. And definitely not a way to entice Survivor fans into sticking around. Or even holding a casual fan’s interest when watching on streaming. Though I guess they could just fast forward 20 minutes into the episode lol
The floating market task though was really great. A good chaotic task that was made better by having 11 teams going crazy side-by-side. Having it in the morning was a wonderful way for teams (and the viewer) to experience local life here on the Mekong.
The Detour was also good. Making rice paper is the kind of great task that introduces a new approach to something that might be so ubiquitous for people. Like, many people eat rice paper, but probably have no idea how it is made. Just like how some of the teams had never even seen a dragonfruit before either. So a great task here.
The vinyl side of the Detour was a nice way to call on Vietnam’s use of motorbikes without the typical driving or repairing parts tasks. Applying vinyl is also a tedious task. But well balanced with the rice paper.
Still, the episode can feel a bit slow. They should’ve had one more task and chop off some time from each of the three sections (flight booking/departure time slips, floating market delivery and Detour).
Depending on what the next episode (and Leg!) contains, putting both together probably would’ve made a good, full single Leg lol
But it’s okay. Overall, it was a solid episode and a good Leg. Wonderful to see Vietnam. And again, just wonderful seeing Asia on TARUS after a while.
One last thing to point out though, I had to do a doubletake here. Todd & Ashlie had just opened the Detour clue, but then I saw them just completing the deliveries? Actually, it was Jocelyn & Victor. But Todd & Ashlie’s names were on-screen. Oops!
All teams were fine this Leg. I am so scared for Jocelyn & Victor! Why do I get a horrible feeling that the show is setting them up for an early exit after having won two Legs! I hope not!
Steve & Anna Leigh definitely had a good Leg though. A bit of luck with the departure time and definitely took advantage of it through the Detour. Joel & Garrett also did well. It’s interesting because the first two Legs were so linear, so it just feels weird having new teams leading now in Leg 3. But it also reminds us that the Race is still wide open.
I understand Morgan & Lena wanting to use their Express Pass now. But they definitely wouldn’t have expected it was a KOR Leg. So they probably wish they held on to it a little longer.
Rob & Corey are probably the most consistent across these three Legs so far. Great to see Andrea & Malaina hustling. And I can understand Robbin & Chelsea not really vibing with the other teams at the moment.
Todd & Ashlie are alright in the middle of the pack. Greg & John had a bit of a setback at the delivery. And I don’t know why I expect Joe & Ian and Liam & Yeremi to be doing better than they have been. I guess just because they look like your typical young alpha male-type of team. But it’s also good so they have a chance to really fight to stay in.
Anyway, all the teams are good so far. And this Leg allowed them to show how competitive they can be.