It was a big surprise with Amazing Race Suomi was first announced a couple of months ago. The mere fact that there is a brand new Amazing Race franchise in 2023 is a pleasant surprise. So I was interested to check out how Finland’s new TAR would look like.
I watched the first episode and it was alright. Teams traveled to Thailand and the episode aired around the same time as both TARUS and TARAus’ visits to the country as well. Amazing Race Suomi, however, had a pretty solid first Leg and episode. Though I did have a bit of trouble trying to keep up without English subtitles.
I think that’s probably why I didn’t watch the next episodes even though I enjoyed the premiere enough.
But I remembered reading some spoilers that TARS/ARS/TARF (hehe) would actually be visiting the Philippines. So I was definitely looking forward to watching those episodes at least.
The two episodes aired in the last two weeks and it was a lot of fun and so awesome to see The Amazing Race, any Amazing Race Racing through the Philippines once again.
The 5th Leg of Amazing Race Suomi had teams travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Manila. The Pit Start was The Manila Hotel and teams first made their way to Victory Food Market in Paranaque.
The task here was to purchase school supplies for charity in the nearby stores. A bit of a recycled task from TAR Asia 5’s Philippine Leg where teams had to buy relief goods in Quiapo. I guess shopping Filipino markets is a good task to get teams interacting with the local peoples.
Next, teams went to the Manila Zoo for the Road Block. This was actually an interesting task. It certainly proved tricky for the teams. They had to enter a snake enclosure and search for boxes which contained numbers they needed to open a locked box with their next clue. But they had to figure it out within five minutes. The four correct boxes would have something like “1=4” and teams had no idea what that meant. But the four correct boxes revealed the four-number combination. The second number was the number in the combination while the first number referred to the position of that number in the combination.
It took some teams several attempts. And it was definitely tricky. But it kind of dragged on too long when we had to watch every single team go in, sometimes numerous times, doing the exact same thing.
Next, teams made their way to Rizal Park for the Detour. And this is where I got most excited!
One of the Detour options had teams assembling a scooter. Though I guess a more culturally specific task would have them working on tricycles.
But the other side of the Detour had teams needing to learn and perform the banga dance. This traditional dance originated in Kalinga province where my dad was born and raised. So it was so wonderful seeing my dad’s culture represented on the Race. It really made me wish that other TARs will hopefully travel further north to stage some Legs. Maybe even have a banga dance task IN Kalinga instead of in Manila next time.
I will say the judges were very lenient on the teams who did the banga dance. They were so stiff and hardly even moved. Lol
Finally, I never would’ve expected we would get a kalesa race to the Pit Stop. But we got it! Considering how not-fast horse-drawn kalesas could be, the show really made the kalesa race to the Pit Stop quite exciting.
Overall a pretty solid Manila Leg.
The 6th Leg of the Race had teams traveling to the province of Pampanga. Hours of Operation had teams equalized at Angeles City Flying Club in Magalang. Teams encountered the Road Block here. And it is a direct recycle of a Road Block at this same location from season 1 of The Amazing Race Philippines. (The real one! Not TARPHDME lolol)
Of course, that TARPH1 task was inspired by the TAR23 finale task. But here, teams would fly in an ultralight plane and hit a target with power-filled bags on the ground. It’s a good task. And its position here at the start of the Leg is good considering it is a processional task.
Next, teams traveled by jeepney to Pandacaqui where they would encounter a task recycled from TAR Asia 5. And that is to learn the children’s song “Tatlong Bibe” and perform it at karaoke in the plaza. It’s just a meh task, to be honest. I would’ve liked for the Race to have done a different task. Especially when again, the judges were very lenient with the teams’ pronunciation. Heck, the teams were even off-beat too lol
Then comes the Detour. And wow! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an easier pair of Detour tasks ever!
One side of the Detour had teams needing to find ten rubber fogs in a muddy rice field while handcuffed. But I would have to think the task only took a few minutes. The rubber frogs were not hard to find at all. Teams, except for one who overthunked the task, easily completed the task in no time. I think they should’ve needed to find more frogs. Or have them be deeper in the mud or something like that. But this was not a very good task, sadly.
Meanwhile, the other side of the Detour was basketball. Because of course, Philippines and basketball. Lol But teams only needed to make two baskets. TAR25 at least needed teams to score 21 points. Having the task is okay. But the actual mechanics of the task were too easy.
Finally, there was a random Route Marker at the entrance of Gintung Pakpak Eco Park, the Pit Stop for the Race. Strange. But perhaps there could’ve been another task here before the Mat? I have no idea.
Overall, this Leg was definitely not as good as the Manila Leg.
I don’t know if I’ll watch any more episodes of Amazing Race Suomi. But again, it was still a treat to have the Philippines on The Amazing Race after a while.
As for the teams, they were all pretty solid from what I could understand lol My favorite team has to be the rally drivers Marcus & Timo. They seem to have interesting personalities and Raced well too.