Recap: The Amazing Race 35, Episode 4 – “The Day Keeps Rockin’ Here In Vietnam”
The NEXT Leg immediately begins at 8:56am with Steve & Anna Leigh opening the first clue directing teams to Café Tu Diec for coffee and clue which reveals the next Detour: Stand or Deliver.
In Stand, teams must prepare a seafood market stall. Teams must first pick up the different kinds of seafood, carry them through the market and then sort them out into their respective display bins according to an example. In Deliver, teams must deliver four mattresses through the busy street and 300 yards down to the West Hotel.
Steve & Anna Leigh choose the fish and get started. Joel & Garrett choose the mattresses and decide on doing two at a time. But when they go the wrong way, they decide it’s best to do one at a time instead. Rob & Corey and Todd & Ashlie also choose the mattresses. They decide to work together. And lucky for them, Joel & Garrett are just coming back. Joel decides to lead them to the hotel as a way to repay Todd for telling them the answer back in Los Angeles.
As Robbin & Chelsea and Morgan & Lena choose the fish, Steve & Anna Leigh ask for a check, but they are missing eels and have switched two bins so they get the thumbs down.
Jocelyn & Victor and Liam & Yeremi are now just leaving the Pit Stop with the brothers exactly an hour behind Steve & Anna Leigh. At the café, Joe & Ian choose the mattresses while Greg & John and Andrea & Malaina choose the fishes. With the two trailing teams, Jocelyn & Victor choose the fish and Laim & Yeremi take on the mattress.
Meanwhile, the father and daughter finally realize their mistakes and get the thumbs up. Joel & Garrett finish their deliveries next followed by Todd & Ashlie and Rob & Corey. Morgan & Lena and Robbin & Chelsea get their fish stands approved as well.
After the Detour, teams must find Ong Pagoda where they can make a wish. Steve & Anna Leigh wish they are Team #1 today. Joel & Garrett wish their families are good at home. They open nice letters from home that their families had snuck into their bags.
After their wish is hung, they get the next clue pointing them to Hung King Temple where they will find the Road Block: Who wants to play matchmaker?
For this Road Block, teams must find the one tile that matches the one in their clue amongst thousands lining the path way to the temple built in honor of the kings who founded Vietnam. Once they’ve found the tile and the docent has given the thumbs up, teams can reunite and run to the Pit Stop.
Anna Leigh decides to do the Road Block and thinks she’s immediately found the right tile. But she is wrong. Joel arrives and begins the Road Block with Todd and Corey arriving next.
Back at the Detour, Jocelyn & Victor are able to pass Andrea & Malaina who are now in overall last.
Chelsea, Joe and John decide to do the Road Block with Lena coming up and starting.
Anna Leigh and Todd compare tiles and they are both different. Anna Leigh seems to have found Todd’s, but she is definitely not telling him. When Anna Leigh tries to send out feelers to Chelsea about potentially helping each other, Chelsea shuts her down. Anna Leigh does not trust Robbin & Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Chelsea thinks she’s got her tile and the docent gives her the thumbs up. Robbin & Chelsea head to the Mat and Phil declares them Team #1. They win a trip to Spain.
Todd finally finds his tile with Anna Leigh right behind him. Steve & Anna Leigh manage to take 2nd and Todd & Ashlie are 3rd, catching up to Robbin & Chelsea who are still at the Mat.
All three teams are still on the Mat when Joe & Ian arrive to check-in as Team #4. And all four teams are still on the Mat when Rob & Corey arrive as Team #5.
Liam, Victor and Andrea are the last to start the Road Block.
Liam is next to get the tile and he and Yeremi hurry to Phil. Andrea & Malaina catch up to them with Greg & John right behind. Phil does not officially check them in until all three are on the Mat. They are teams 6, 7 and 8, respectively.
It’s down to the last three teams. Joel & Garrett take 9th. Len & Morgan are 10th.
That means Jocelyn & Victor are last and sadly eliminated. But they are happy for the experience anyway.
Gotta repeat again, TAR needs to STOP harping on No Non-Elimination Legs. Having them was never a problem. So the show making a big deal about it and then actually not following through with it is really hilariously absurd. And dumb. Last week was a Non-Elimination Leg. Period. It doesn’t matter if it’s a KOR or MegaLeg or Zero-Hour Pit Stop. These were two separate Legs and only one team was eliminated between them.
STOP SAYING THERE ARE NO NON-ELIMINATION LEGS!
That said, this was a weird episode. And probably the best example of what might be wrong with 90-minute episodes.
The editing was not very good. First of all, dragging tasks out longer than they need to be shown has really been a big negative. The show needs to be more fast paced. Especially when you have teams crossing each other at the Detour. Teams with mattresses running past the fish stand teams. Raise the frantic chaos! Don’t slow things down.
The editing has also become too linear which makes it quite obvious who is last. Unlike in the past when the more hectic, fast-paced editing upped the tension and excitement.
On TAR, we do no like linear Legs. And now we can also add linear editing to the No-No list.
And then at the end, they dragged on the first few teams at the Road Block, making it appear they were there for a long time. And all of a sudden, teams were finding the tiles within a minute of each other. Then the last arriving teams finding tiles within minutes of arriving. WTF?
That actually applies to all tasks it seems. They spend a lot of time on the start of the task, making it seem like things are so difficult. And then they rush through teams getting the thumbs up. Balance it out a little!
The show is losing its sense of time. And the loss of that sense of time has held back TARs across the world like in the Philippines and Australia. Interestingly enough, both TARPH and TARAu’s pacing problems come with their longer runtimes. (TARPH with its 5-6 days a week format and Network 10 TARAu’s 90+ minute episodes, multiple times a week.)
I mean, I watched this episode with no commercials. But Jocelyn & Victor and Liam & Yeremi, the last two teams, were not shown on-screen until 18 minutes into the episode. Most likely half-hour in live TV time. That’s crazy. Especially when teams were no more than a couple of minutes apart from each other.
Editing has really declined on TARUS in recent seasons. But these 90-minute episodes have only exacerbated the problem.
Anyway, as for the Leg itself, we again only got a Detour and Road Block and a quick Active Route Info task. These are the Legs they designed for 90 minutes?
Steve & Anna Leigh started the last Leg at 5:45am and they started this Leg at 8:56am. So the last Leg only lasted a bit more than three hours. Typical modern TAR with its very short Legs.
The Detour was good though. A good ol’ market and seafood task will always be a challenge for some teams. And it was an attention to detail task too.
One of the most memorable tasks for me on TAR ever is TAR10’s mattress delivery. It was complete madness and absolutely hilarious. Especially with the TAR10 teams involved. The teams here aren’t as awesome as TAR10’s cast. But the mattresses still did provide from amusing moments. Funny how teams were getting sloppy and tired when delivering the mattresses. Must be exhausting. But again, once you’ve seen teams delivering mattresses for 10 minutes, you want to move on to the next thing.
The wish at the temple was nice.
But oh boy the Road Block. A needle in a haystack task right before the Mat? Really?
Now the editing, however, made this task seem really odd. Is it really as difficult as the first teams made it appear? Or was it as easy as the trailing teams made it appear? We have no idea without knowing the actual times teams spent at the task.
But again, the editing did no favors. And instead left me going…
Overall, some good things. A lot of weird things with this episode. Above-average for contemporary TAR sure. 10x better than the mess that was TAR32. But things definitely need to be fine-tuned AND improved.
This is what I was afraid of! Jocelyn & Victor riding high in two Legs and then go from first to worst just like that. I’ll blame the Leg design a bit. But they just really fell behind last Leg with one wrong turn and a not good showing at the Detour. If it weren’t a KOR, they might have survived. But with the crazy Road Block, maybe it really was just in the cards for them to be 3rd out. It’s crazy to think that they are 11th place this season after having won TWO Legs. I don’t know if that’s enough to invite them back for a future season because I’d love to see them Race longer.
Steve & Anna Leigh were doing very well too until the odd Road Block. Sucks that they didn’t win anything last Leg though. But I did like the potential conflict and rivalry with Robbin & Chelsea! Drama please! Hehe. I don’t fault Robbin & Chelsea for keeping to themselves though. If anything, we need more teams who focus on their own Race and not have to depend on others. And they had the right combo of luck and skill to score a win.
I think Joel & Garrett deserved a win having Raced so well these last two Legs until the Road Block. Too bad. But I can see them continuing to do well. It was nice to hear Joel talking about the Vietnam War and the progress that’s been made in the country and between the US and Vietnam since.
Morgan & Lena still need to step it up a bit to match their good first two Legs. But I definitely think they can. Rob & Corey, Todd & Ashlie and Joe & Ian were consistent enough this Leg. And Greg & John kind of disappeared other than their singing at the Detour. Andrea & Malaina kept pushing too. So I’d like to see them potentially move up.
Liam & Yeremi stumbled with the Detour last Leg, but I also think they might be able to recover well in the coming Legs. Especially having overcome the last place finish and Non-Elimination save.