The Amazing Race Australia 1 – Season Wrap-Up

The Amazing Race Australia – Season Wrap-Up

The Amazing Race premiered on CBS in 2001, and while it took a while to find commercial success to couple with the critical success, TAR has become one of the most watched reality programs in the world.  The growth and popularity of TAR in the US as well as around the world enabled the format to be franchised to countries for their own local versions of the series. 

Beginning with AXN’s The Amazing Race Asia and followed by TAR versions in South America, Israel and China, it was finally Australia’s turn.  The Seven network commissioned the local edition of TAR last year and it finally premiered in May.

The Amazing Race definitely requires a big commitment from whoever orders their own local edition, but Seven overall did quite a good job with TARAu.

In fact, TARAu definitely had some things the TAR mothership can learn from.

NOW THAT’S A CAST!
Probably the best thing about The Amazing Race Australia was its excellent casting.

Though each team fit certain TAR archetypes (parent/child, models, old people, the bickering couple, the eccentric couple… cowboys(!!)), it all worked.  Each team had a story, each team had a distinctive personality.  Even the early eliminated teams left their marks before being eliminated.

TARUS’ casting has been lacking the last couple of seasons (as with everything else, some would argue).  Plenty of nice, if forgettable teams and none of the big and memorable personalities of the pre-TARAS era.  But regardless of whether they actually applied or were recruited, TARAu managed to find a great mix of personalities that very much helped make each episode fun and entertaining.

FRESHNESS
Even though much of TARAu from locations to tasks were direct copies of or adapted from previous TARA seasons, everything still felt so fresh. 

Especially with seeing countries rarely or never seen on TARUS like Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South Africa and of course Israel.

The look and feel of the series also felt more bright and exciting.  Though TAR18 looked great in HD, I feel like TARAu used the HD better and to its fullest potential. 

From the cinematography to the on-screen graphics, TARAu made it feel like you were watching a brand new series.  And in turn made the on-screen look of TARUS feel sadly dated.  The use of Microgramma (as used pre-TAR13) instead of the Bank Gothic font (which TAR switched to in TAR14). The CG-maps instead of Google Earth maps.  The sleekly produced opening credits that had actual effort put into them.

One can only hope this was a test run for what will eventually debut in the upcoming 19th season of TAR (which is also the series’ 10th anniversary). 

It’s probably time for another freshening up of TARUS, and considering this is the 10th anniversary season, you’d have to expect it right?

IT’S FOREIGN TO YOU!
For viewers of The Amazing Race US, the international versions of TAR are different experiences thanks of course to the different cultures each TAR is representing.  Contestants on an Israeli, Asian, or Australian TAR will certainly have different customs and beliefs going into the Race.

They’ll have different views on life, on competition, on family and friends.  Not to mention being used to drive on the “wrong” side of the road.

The cultural aspects of the visited locales certainly bring color to the series, but the cultural aspects of the contestants, all of whom not from the United States, adds even more color, and in turn makes the series more fresh and different than what many are used to.

LET’S CALL IT A SUCCESS
It’s not hard to conclude that The Amazing Race Australia is a success, commercial and production-wise.

The series has done respectably in the ratings in Australia, but the viewer response has been very positive.

Grant Bowler was a solid host, though he definitely has room to grow and room to distance himself from his role as The Mole MC years ago. 

But overall, production-wise, the series was top-notch and worthy of standing side by side with the mothership.  A thoroughly enjoyable and wonderfully refreshing adaptation of everyone’s favorite Race around the world.



My Final Subjective Team Rankings

Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – They grew to become my picks to win.  They were likeable and Raced well and seemed to step it up week after week… until they basically stumbled into the final two legs of the Race.  Definitely disappointing end to their Race.  They had what it took, but completely dropped the ball.  
Tracy & Anne-Marie Tracy & Anne-Marie – They were a joy to watch.  The Big W ladies were sweet and hilarious and giggled their way through their short time on the Race.  They would’ve been my absolute favorite team from TARAu, if it wasn’t for them just giving up and quitting.  Probably one of the worst and most disappointing elimination of any team on TAR ever. 
Alana & Mel Alana & Mel – A much more enjoyable all-female team than Sam & Renae.  They had the spark and fire to be feisty and snappy, but they also had a competitive spirit (well, mostly Mel).  If they had stepped up their game more, they would’ve been right there and have made it farther in the Race.  And I would’ve preferred they did over Sam & Renae.
Anastasia & Chris Anastasia & Chris – A strange, schizophrenic team.  Perfect for reality show entertainment!  They had the dysfunction down pat and half the time they Raced very well.  It was the other half where they imploded on themselves that gave them their only missteps.  But they had the makings of a strong team as well who could have easily gone far in the Race. 
Joey & Richard Joey & Richard – Their frantic, crazy, random personalities were definitely fun to watch.  And their competitive fire was nice to have on the Race.  They had the makings of a strong, 2nd half team, but their elimination might have been the most surprising of the season.  It was a shame they didn’t go farther in the Race.
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – They were the most consistently strong team the entire Race.  Their win was not a surprise at all.  Predictable?  Sure.  But most of the time, they were funny and fun.  They weren’t my personal pick to win, but they certainly deserved the win.
Ryot & Liberty Ryot & Liberty – In their short time on the Race, they at least showed they wanted to be there.  They gave it their all even though it wasn’t meant to be.  They didn’t let their physical limitations get in the way.  It would’ve been nice to see them last a little longer.
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – Boy how wrong I was.  After that first leg, I said it couldn’t be a fluke.  Sam & Renae were the next Nat & Kat.  But really, they ended up being a lesser Jaime & Cara.  They had three good legs: the first and the last two.  Every leg in between… horrible and boring.  It was strange and very disappointing to see them Race so poorly and be absolutely boring while doing it.
Mo & Mos Mo & Mos – They were funny most of the time, even though their shtick got a little old after a few legs.  And their Dandrew-like performance wasn’t that endearing at all.  They ended up overstaying their welcome even though they seemed to be pretty nice guys anyway.
Matt & Tom Matt & Tom – They’re a less annoying and douche version of the TARUS Cowboys.  Though Matt’s strange, expressionless confessionals were odd and kind of off-putting, they had the right combo of luck and skill to get them to final four.  They had that country bumpkin aspect down, but thankfully, it was not shoved down our throats like a certain other team out there.
Dave & Kelly Dave & Kelly – They started off nice enough, but ended up the most annoying couple on the Race.  They were unfunny, not-cute and trying to hard to be likeable and/or enjoyable.  Kelly was okay half the time, but Dave became a whiny baby down the stretch.  They definitely overstayed their welcome.


<font face="georgia" size="4"Relive The Amazing Race Australia!



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Recap: The Amazing Race Australia 1 – Episode 12 – Season Finale

The Amazing Race Australia – Episode Twelve – Season Finale

The Leg


It is the final leg of the Race and the final three all board a flight to Singapore, getting them in a 10:15pm.  Once in Sinagpore, teams head to the Goh Chor Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple where they must break open a pile of durians until they find one with a red-colored center.

The three teams stay neck and neck, but it’s Tyler & Nathan that find the right durian first.  The performers give them their next clue and the Detour.


In this Detour, teams head to the iconic Marina Bay Sands resort. 
In Dare, teams must traverse a tightrope, 250 meters above the ground from Tower 1 to Tower 2 and back.  The 2nd team member will be given their next clue before heading back. 
In Stair, teams must climb the 55-level Tower 1 using only the stairs to collect a souvenir, take it back down to the lobby, then back up to Level 56 to exchange the souvenir for their next clue.



Tyler & Nathan choose stairs, as do Jeff & Luke who finish next, leaving Sam & Renae in last.  Once at the hotel, Tyler & Nathan decide to do Dare instead.  As Sam & Renae, the surfers finish and get the next clue telling teams to get a five minute palm reading at the Hong San See Taoist Temple.

Tyler & Nathan stay in the lead after a very promising palm reading and now must head to the Jurong Chinese Gardens and find a statue of Confucious who will lead them to their next clue.  Sam & Renae and Jeff & Luke follow with their own readings, though not as promising with respect to the Race… hmm…



The surfers keep going and now teams must head to the Singapore Flyer ferris wheel and search amongst the 28 compartments, all of which containing Race envelopes, but only three containing their next clue.  If they choose the wrong compartment, they’ll have to ride an entire 21 minute rotation of the Flyer before searching another one.

Sam & Renae and Jeff & Luke catch up to Tyler & Nathan at the Flyer.  But after a couple of tries, Tyler & Nathan are the first to get the clue.  Time for teams to head home and their final destination, Perth, Australia.

Jeff & Luke find the clue next and both teams make a 9am flight out of Singapore arriving in Perth at 2:05pm.  The full flight leaves Sam & Renae on one that arrives 35 minutes later at 2:40pm.

Once in Perth, teams must drive themselves to Kings Park for their next clue.  Out of the airport, both Tyler & Nathan and Jeff & Luke take wrong turns and the surfers manage to get ahead once again. 

The next clue tells teams to head to Freemantle Prison where they’ll be handed a set of 12 keys which they must use to search all three levels and over 100 cells for the one that contains their next clue.  For every empty cell, they must make sure to lock the door again.



Tyler & Nathan get to the prison and start, but right off the bat, they have problems locking their first door just as Sam & Renae arrive in the city.

Jeff & Luke meanwhile are getting frustrated when they get lost again on the way to the prison. 

On their fourth door, Tyler & Nathan find the cluebox and now have to make their way to Cape Peron for their next one.



Jeff & Luke arrive and get started on the doors, but Sam & Renae’s hometown advantage helps them make up some time as they catch up to the father and son.  When Sam & Renae find the clue first, the frustration grows for Jeff & Luke who are now in last place.


All the teams now drive to Cape Peron where they find the final Road Block of the Race.  In this Road Block, teams will have to arrange the flags of the countries they’ve visited on the Race, starting and ending with Australia.  Once they have the correct 12 flags in order, the geography professor will hand them their next clue.

All three teams are there, neck and neck, struggling with the flags… until everything clicks for Tyler and he finishes the Road Block.

They get the final clue, head to Heirisson Island and the Finish Line.

Sam & Renae appear to finish soon after and it appears to be a Race between the two teams back to Perth.  But at the Finish Line, the teams and Grant welcome Tyler & Nathan as the official winners of the first Amazing Race Australia.



Darkness falls and Sam & Renae finally arrive to finish 2nd and Jeff & Luke step on the Mat 3rd.


Episode Thoughts
Well there you go!  It was a full finale, equivalent to what would be a 90-minute episode in the US.  Plenty of tasks, but maybe not the best leg design, especially not having the entire leg in the final destination.

It would’ve been nice to see the final leg fully contained in Australia.  But in spite of that, the teams still somehow stayed close to each other.

They might have gone overboard with the luck tasks though.  That was three in one leg… and the finale too!

Many of the tasks were TARA tasks again, including that infamous flag final Road Block from TARA2 (and also, the tamer one back in TAR9).  But even then, TARAu somehow made the tasks more exciting than TARA did.  Legs in the dark are always awesome.  Even more so that the nighttime leg was in the finale.  The nighttime setting also made the Detour and the task at the Singapore Flyer visually more awesome.

Very interesting as well having teams drive themselves in the final leg.  TARUS has avoided having teams drive themselves for safety concerns, because if you’re on the road to a million dollars, you’ll be wanting to drive as fast as you can, running red lights, and not caring about traffic laws right?

It was also pretty obvious Nathan & Tyler won.  Too many obvious clues throughout the episode, not the least of which, the palm reader of course.

But overall, a good finale and a good enough to cap off what was a successful first season of TARAu.  



PIT STOP
Independence Square
Colombo, Sri Lanka

CASH
$20

ROUTE MARKER
Goh Chor Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple
Singapore

DETOUR
Marina Bay Sands
Singapore

ROUTE MARKER
Hong San See Taoist Temple
Singapore

Jurong Chinese Garden
Singapore

Singapore Flyer
Singapore

FINAL DESTINATION CITY
Perth, Australia

ROUTE MARKER
Kings Park
Perth

Freemantle Prison
Freemantle, Australia

ROAD BLOCK
Cape Peron
Rockingham, Australia

FINISH LINE
Heirisson Island
Perth, Australia




Independence Square
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sam & Renae 7:32am
Tyler & Nathan 7:51am
Jeff & Luke 8:58am









DARE



STAIR

< or > indicate teams switched Detours.







Who did the Road Block?
Who Won’t Flag Under Pressure?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

6 Sam Renae 6
6 Tyler Nathan 6
6 Jeff Luke 5

5 Matt Tom 6
6 Dave Kelly 3
3 Anastasia Chris 5
2 Alana Mel 4
2 Mo Mos 3
1 Joey Richard 2
1 Tracy Anne-Marie 2
2 Ryot Liberty 0



FINISH LINE
Heirisson Island
Perth, Australia

1st Tyler & Nathan (+1)
2nd Sam & Renae (-1)
3rd Jeff & Luke (=)








Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – Not gonna lie.  Another horribly sloppy leg from them.  Though they were consistent most of the Race, they really dropped the ball these final two legs.  The frustration and probably exhaustion too (they chose the Stair Detour!?!) definitely played a part.  They weren’t focused and it seemed like they didn’t have the drive.  Just not a good leg for them which is disappointing.
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – Even more consistent, this was Tyler & Nathan’s Race to lose.  They had a great leg.  Despite those wrong turns (or not), they Raced very well as they’ve done the entire Race.  None of the frustration-induced hissy fits, just near-perfect Racing.  
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – It may have been an advantage being on home turf, but they Raced this leg like how they should have Raced the entire time.  At the very least, they stepped it up when they needed to, but not enough to beat the strong surfers.








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Recap: The Amazing Race Australia 1, Episode 11 – “You the nice cowboy.”

The Amazing Race Australia – Episode Eleven

The Leg
It is the penultimate leg of the The Amazing Race and the final four must now make their way to Colombo, Sri Lanka.



The teams head to the airport.  Matt & Tom and Jeff & Luke stick together and find out there’s a flight that’ll get them into Colombo at midnight, but their connection in Rome would be tight.  They don’t want to risk it, so they settle on a flight through Amman, Jordan that will get them into Colombo at about 5am. 

Tyler & Nathan and Sam &Renae, however, decide to take the risk and it pays off.  While Matt & Tom and Jeff & Luke are lounging by the pool in Jordan for their six hour layover, the surfers and the models arrive in Colombo.



They head to the Gangaramaya Temple where they’ll receive a blessing and their next clue.  They open it up to reveal the Detour.


In this Detour, teams head to St. John’s Fish Market in Pettah.
In Count, teams must count the fish in a crate in the middle of the fish market to receive their next clue.
In Carry, teams must use a wooden trolley to deliver 15 unbroken blocks of ice to a marked stall to receive their next clue.

Both Tyler & Nathan and Sam & Renae choose Carry and as they complete the Detour, Jeff & Luke and Matt & Tom arrive in Colombo and their hearts sink knowing they’re in last.



Teams must now purchase third class tickets to the city of Galle and head to the historic Galle Fort for their next clue.   Tyler & Nathan and Sam & Renae go to the station to wait for the train and hope the two trailing teams don’t make it. 

Matt & Tom catch up and they board the train.  Jeff & Luke’s tuk-tuk stops for gas though, then they end up at the booth selling 2nd class tickets, which they end up buying anyway.  All four teams make the train.

Once in Galle, Jeff & Luke have to wait out a 10 minute penalty at the station for buying the wrong tickets.  The other three teams head off.



They get the clue at the lighthouse.  Teams will have to answer the question “In which year did Sri Lanka achieve independence from Britain?”and use those four numbers to unlock a treasure chest on the beach.  Inside will be another question, “In what year was the father od the modern Sri Lankan nation D.S. Senanayake born?” the answer to which will give them the combination to unlock a 2nd chest with the next clue.

 The clue tells teams to take a bus to the town of Ambalangoda where they will find a mask stall vendor.  They’ll memorize a photo of a mask and then search amongst a hundred street performers for the match to receive their next clue.

Sam & Renae and Nathan & Tyler stay in front and finish the task to receive the clue for the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams will head to Trendy Connections garment factory and must sew a shirt using a provided pattern.  When they’ve sewn to the satisfaction of the factory head, they’ll get their next clue.



Sam & Renae and Nathan & Tyler look for taxi and end up going in an unregistered charter van or something. 

All four teams end up at the factory at the same time and it’s all about the details.  But while the guys struggle, Renae quickly finishes the Road Block.  Teams must now head to the Pit Stop at Independence Square in Colombo.

Sam & Renae head to Grant, but he tells them they have to wait out a 20 minute penalty for taking a private vehicle.  Tyler & Nathan arrive in 2nd, er 1st… or they arrive and also have to wait out the 20 minute penalty.

Back at the Road Block, Jeff and Matt continue to struggle until they finally break through.  Jeff finishes first and Matt *appears* to be right behind.  They head outside to find tuk-tuks.



All this time allows Sam & Renae to officially check-in first, winning a $5000 home entertainment system from Bing Lee, making their non-elim penalty null and void and making them the first team into the final leg.  A little later, Tyler & Nathan check-in and they are officially in the final.

And the last team into the finale, Jeff & Luke checking in 3rd.  That leaves Matt & Tom in last and eliminated.




Episode Thoughts
It was two TARA4 Sri Lankan legs in one.  It was an interesting leg design and definitely too complicated for TARUS.  These days, you won’t see TARUS have any of that flight drama, train and bus rides all in one leg which is actually a shame since after not having stuff like it for a long time, you miss it.

Again with the hours long train and bus rides that really aren’t that necessary, but hilariously welcome.

But in this leg on TARAu, it made for some interesting editing opportunities, especially with just four teams left.

The tasks themselves weren’t particularly interesting though.  The Detour was dull the first time around on TARA, but that Detour had twice as many teams causing 2x the drama and 2x the f-bombs.  The Road Block was okay though and certainly related to the location, but its placement right before the Pit Stop made it the deciding factor in the leg.

Not one of the stronger episodes of the season, but it actually would’ve made a nice first hour of a two hour finale.

Anyway, next week is the final and no matter who will win, I’d have to say TARAu would have completed a successful first season.






PIT STOP
Aish HaTorah World Centre
Jerusalem, Israel

CONNECTING CITIES
Rome, Italy
Amman, Jordan

ROUTE MARKER
Gangaramaya Temple
Colombo, Sri Lanka

DETOUR
 St. John’s Fish Market
Pettah, Colombo

ROUTE MARKER
Galle Fort
Galle, Sri Lanka

Ambalangoda Train Station
Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka

ROAD BLOCK
Trendy Connection
Colombo, Sri Lanka

PIT STOP
Independence Square
Colombo, Sri Lanka




Aish HaTorah World Centre
Jerusalem, Israel

Matt & Tom 1:14am
Jeff & Luke 1:32am
Tyler & Nathan 1:46am
Sam & Renae 1:52am








COUNT

CARRY



< or > indicate teams switched Detours.




Who did the Road Block?
Who Can Reap What They Sew?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

5 Sam Renae 6
6 Tyler Nathan 5
6 Jeff Luke 5
5 Matt Tom 6

6 Dave Kelly 3
3 Anastasia Chris 5
2 Alana Mel 4
2 Mo Mos 3
1 Joey Richard 2
1 Tracy Anne-Marie 2
2 Ryot Liberty 0



PIT STOP
Independence Square
Colombo, Sri Lanka

1st Sam & Renae (+3)
2nd Tyler & Nathan (+1)
3rd Jeff & Luke (-1)
4th Matt & Tom (-3)






Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – A pretty sloppy leg for them.  Just too many mistakes and missteps that they definitely do not want to carry over into the final leg.  Storywise, they have most compelling reason to win: Estranged father and son, now working together to win the Race.  That is over the other two teams who are just friends.  Race-wise, they haven’t been perfect, but when they’re on point, they are a strong team.
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – Their risk definitely paid off for them and save for their blunder with the van, it was a good, yet safe leg for them.  They may not have the most compelling story, but they are the most consistent final 3 team Race-wise.  They’ve been the strongest, most successful team this Race with really their only hiccup being last week’s leg in Jerusalem.  They are the team to beat. 
Matt & Tom Matt & Tom – After stepping up and making a good run down the line, they couldn’t step it up this leg.  They fell to their weakness; their leg performance usually being based on how they start the leg.  Once they fall to the back of the pack, they don’t recover the rest of the leg.  It was a close leg, but they need that extra push.  And they didn’t get it.
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – You could say that their Race came full circle.  After performing excellently the first leg, they trudged their way through the next nine legs before winning another one.  But really, unless they win next week, Sam & Renae have had more luck than excellent Race skills.  They haven’t particularly Raced well enough, but there’s always been at least one worse team each leg.  Though it won’t be some travesty if they win, I wouldn’t particularly prefer it. 


Quotes from Episode 1.11

Israeli Taxi Driver: “You the nice cowboy.”












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Recap: The Amazing Race Australia, Episode 1.10 – “That’s a bagel there.”

The Amazing Race Australia – Episode Ten

The Leg
Before teams head out on the next leg, they record messages for loved ones and will send the memory cards home during the leg.



Teams start the leg having to take a cable car to the top of Masada to find King Herod’s Winter Palace.  There, teams find a clue telling them to drive 100km north to Qumran, the archaeological site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were unearthed, to find their next clue.

While Jeff & Luke and Tyler & Nathan help each other, Matt & Tom get to Qumran where they find the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams must use a translation guide to decipher a scroll written in Hebrew and in the Hebrew style of right to left.  After correctly translating the scroll, they’ll receive their next clue.



Tom finishes the Road Block and they get the clue telling them to take a taxi to the main post office in Jerusalem to send their memory cards home and to receive their next clue.

While Sam & Renae get a little lost finding the first clue, Jeff & Luke get to the Road Block with Jeff deciding to do it to even up the count.  Tyler & Nathan are close behind.

Jeff is struggling, but Nathan catches on pretty quick.  Jeff asks to collaborate and Nathan informs him he’s been doing the entire thing wrong.  After some more struggling together, they finally get it right and head off.


Matt & Tom finally get to Jerusalem and mail their message home in exchange for the Detour.  In this Detour, teams will head to Old Jerusalem.
In Pilgrim’s Trail, teams will take part in a pilgrim ritual by collecting an 80km wooden cross and carrying it along the Via Delarosa, retracing the final journey of Jesus Christ and passing the nine Stations of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site where Jesus was believed to have been crucified and buried.  It is here where they’ll get their next clue.
In Holy Grail, teams must head to the Western Wall in the Old City and go down into the Kotel Tunnels to an active archaeological dig where they must search for a buried clay pot.  They’ll take the pot to the nearby ruins of the City of David, wade through an ancient underground aqueduct and hand the pot to an archaeologist in exchange for their next clue.



They choose Pilgrim’s Trail.  Meanwhile, Sam & Renae just get to the Road Block while Jeff & Luke and Tyler & Nathan stick together.

They both choose Pilgrim’s Trail as well, while the girls still behind, choose Holy Grail instead.  Matt & Tom finish the Detour and get the next clue telling them to head to the top of the defensive wall surrounding the Old City and “walk the ramparts walk” to their next clue.

Tyler & Nathan end up getting lost along the Via Dolorosa allowing Jeff & Luke to get ahead in 2nd.  Sam & Renae dig up the pot and now have to find the aqueducts. 



All teams finish the Detour and it’s on to the “dung gate” and the “ramparts walk.”  Matt & Tom get there first and open the clue pointing them to the Pit Stop at the Aish HaTorah World Centre overlooking the Western Wall.

The farmers meet Grant at the Mat and officially check-in first and win $10,000 from NAB Classic Banking.  Jeff & Luke are a close 2nd.

Lost and frustrated, Tyler & Nathan still manage to stay in 3rd, while Sam & Renae arrive last… but it is a Non-Elimination leg and they are still in it.  But the girls are Marked for Elimination and must arrive first on the next leg or incur a 30 minute penalty.


Episode Thoughts
Despite a poor leg design where we basically had the same team placements and standings the entire leg, it was still an overall excellent leg and great episode.

Maybe it’s just the fact that The Amazing Race is in Israel, not to mention Jerusalem itself.  What a fascinating and incredible experience that must have been for the teams.  It was certainly fascinating and incredible to watch. 

Even the TARA staple product placement of filming a message for home was made interesting by having to go to the Jerusalem main post office.  I guess the history and meaning of Jerusalem to millions, billions of people around the world just helps make the leg that more amazing.

The Road Block was typical and harmless enough, but the Detour was probably one of the best on any TAR in a long time.  Walking the path that Jesus walked, the path that thousands and millions have walked in pilgrimage is amazing.  Then the other side of the Detour, traversing the underground of Jerusalem, the ruins of ancient civilizations.  The very definition of amazing.

Seeing the contrasts of this modern television program with the ancient city and the modern people, for me, makes this the best episode of TARAu yet.  Definitely more exciting and eye-opening than much of TARUS in recent seasons.

Just two episodes left! 




PIT STOP
Masada
Israel

ROUTE MARKER
King Herod’s Winter Palace
Masada

ROAD BLOCK
Qumran, Israel

ROUTE MARKER
Main Post Office
Jerusalem, Israel

DETOUR
Via Dolorosa
Old City Jerusalem

Western Wall/Kotel Tunnels
Old City Jerusalem

ROUTE MARKER
City Walls near Dung Gate
Old City Jerusalem

PIT STOP
Aish HaTorah World Centre)
Jerusalem, Israel




Masada
Israel

Matt & Tom 6:31am
Jeff & Luke 7:15am
Tyler & Nathan 7:56am
Sam & Renae 8:28am








PILGRIM’S TRAIL




HOLY GRAIL

< or > indicate teams switched Detours.




Who did the Road Block?
Who’s Not Lost in Translation?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

4 Matt Tom 6
5 Jeff Luke 5
5 Tyler Nathan 5
5 Sam Renae 5

6 Dave Kelly 3
3 Anastasia Chris 5
2 Alana Mel 4
2 Mo Mos 3
1 Joey Richard 2
1 Tracy Anne-Marie 2
2 Ryot Liberty 0



PIT STOP
Aish HaTorah World Centre)
Jerusalem, Israel

1st Matt & Tom (=)
2nd Jeff & Luke (=)
3rd Tyler & Nathan (=)
4th Sam & Renae (=)






Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – Interesting dynamic from them this leg.  They probably would have taken a long time at the Road Block if Tyler & Nathan weren’t there.  Luke’s little annoyances with his father were funny, but a great example of being in a Race, but still wanting to experience these incredible places they’re visiting.
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – They don’t seem to be Racing at full speed lately.  While Nathan had an upper hand at the Road Block, they didn’t have much else in their favor the rest of the leg.  That doesn’t mean they won’t make the final three, because they still have a great shot, but they need to find their groove back.
Matt & Tom Matt & Tom – The Race has definitely been nice to them these last couple of legs.  Matt & Tom have Raced well and have managed to keep their leads, but the Race and leg design certainly had its part in their success these last legs.
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – With Dave & Kelly gone, Sam & Renae are now officially at the bottom of my list, but this leg showed me why I liked them in those early days of the Race.  They were funny and didn’t give up.  They Raced hard, though not well enough to catch up, but that’s partly the leg design.  I wouldn’t mind seeing them sneak into the final three now, though their Race performance other than the first leg has still been uninspiring.


Quotes from Episode 1.10

Tom: “That’s a bagel there.  The round ones with the hole in the middle.”
Matt: “What’s it do?”
Tom: “What do you mean?  It’s food.”












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Recap: The Amazing Race Australia 1, Episode 9 – “Are you sure we didn’t make a wrong turn and we’re in Iraq?”

The Amazing Race Australia – Episode Nine

The Leg
“Jeff & Luke and Tyler & Nathan, who were the first teams to arrive, will be the first teams to depart at 11:05am.”



Or 8:45am.  Same difference.

Teams must fly out of Krakow to Tel Aviv, Israel!  Sam & Renae and Matt & Tom manage to catch up to a delayed Jeff & Luke and Tyler & Nathan and they all take a 3:45pm flight that gets them into Tel Aviv via Brussels at 1:15am.  Dave & Kelly have to settle on a flight leaving at 5pm and getting in at 3am.

The first plane arrives and teams must now head to the Azrieli Towers and take an elevator to the top of the tallest tower for their next clue.  The surfers make it to the cluebox first and find the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams will take a train to the Port of Haifa where they will rig a container truck, drive it through an obstacle course and back it up into its final loading space to get their next clue.



The first four teams head to the train station, Tyler & Nathan charm an Israeli woman who LOVES Australians and they take off as Dave & Kelly only just get into the country.

But HOURS OF OPERATION! strike, allowing the married bikers to pop in as the teams just wake up from the cold, three-hour nap outside the docks.

The gates open at 6am and the teams get to the Road Block and carefully try to weave their way through it.  Tom finishes first and he opens the clue telling teams to make their way to Old Jaffa and find the Hasimta Theatre for their next clue.

At the theatre, teams get another task.  Teams must separately answer five questions about other teams in the Race.  Only when the teams’ two sets of answers match will they receive their next clue. 



The five questions teams have to answer:
Which Team’s relationship do you envy?
Which Team would be first to lend you a helping hand?
If the Race was a foursome, which team would you pair up with?
Which Team has been the most strategic?
Apart from your own Team, which Team most deserves to win?


Matt & Tom correctly match up first and quickly head off.  But Dave & Kelly and Sam & Renae catch up to Jeff & Luke and Tyler & Nathan.
The 2nd members of the team, Luke, Tyler, Renae and Dave are having trouble thinking on the same wavelength as their teammates.


Matt & Tom head to the Detour.
In Find Unseen, teams must use a metal detector to search a marked area for a key that unlocks the chest containing the next clue.
In Make 13, teams must play a traditional Israeli bat and ball game called Matkot.  They must bat the ball back and forth 13 times without letting it hit the ground to get their next clue.


The farmers choose Make 13 and quickly get the hang of it.  They get the next clue telling teams to drive themselves 200km through the Judean desert to the Pit Stop at Masada, a fortress built by King Herod and a UNESCO Heritage Site overlooking the Dead Sea.

 Jeff & Luke and Tyler & Nathan finish the task and then finish the Detour in the same order.  Sam & Renae and Dave & Kelly finish the task and both head to the Detour.  They both choose Make 13, but Sam & Renae decide to switch, seeing Dave & Kelly struggle with the Matkot as well. They find the right key after a while and head off, but Dave & Kelly are right behind them despite Dave whining again.

Jeff & Luke get pointed in the right direction after passing Masada, but that isn’t enough to keep Matt & Tom from checking in first and winning a A$5000 computer package from Bing Lee.  The father and son have to settle for 2nd.



Three teams are still on the road and none of them can find their way.  But after a while, Tyler & Nathan get in 3rd and Sam & Renae are shocked in 4th.

It’s dark now and Dave & Kelly decide to stop into an Israeli McDonalds to buy some coffee, but they also get a surprise when Grant comes out and eliminates them on the spot.


Episode Thoughts
It was definitely an interesting leg.  It is absolutely fascinating for TAR to finally go to Israel (well, with the exception of HaMerotz LaMillion of course).  But not so much when the tasks this leg had virtually nothing to do with Israel.  It is always a letdown when TAR goes to these wonderful, exotic locations and then have tasks that could be done anywhere in the world, especially the US.

Containers at the dock, metal detectors, badminton… all non-Israeli-specific tasks.  Well, maybe not Matkot was Israeli, but still.  They could’ve had a little more local flavor in the tasks.  But I guess they’ll make up for it next week when the teams literally bear their crosses. 



The know-your-teammate task was exactly like the task in Korea in the 9th leg of TARA4 and of course a less complicated version of the infamous final task from TAR All-Stars.

This leg also saw the return of the hilariously unnecessary out of the way drives TARAu seems to love.  This time it was to the Pit Stop.  It unnecessarily got teams lost, yet it was awesomely hilarious to have teams drive two hours from one clue to the next.

The editors must have been half-asleep working on the episode too.  From that strange mix-up with the departure times to sound effects signaling graphics that never appeared on screen, it was all very strange.

And finally, I’ve been mistaken.  The teams have been given American dollars at the start of each leg, not Australian dollars.  I guess that would certainly be easier than carrying and exchanging Australian dollars.



PIT STOP
Niedzica Castle
Niedzica, Poland

CASH
US$50

STOPOVER
Brussels, Belgium

DESTINATION CITY
Tel Aviv, Israel

ROUTE MARKER
Azrieli Center
Tel Aviv

ROAD BLOCK
Port of Haifa
Haifa, Israel

ROUTE MARKER
Hasimta Theatre
Jaffa, Tel Aviv

DETOUR
Jerusalem Beach
Tel Aviv

PIT STOP
Masada
Israel




Niedzica Castle
Niedzica, Poland

Jeff & Luke 8:45am
Tyler & Nathan 8:46am
Sam & Renae 10:07am
Dave & Kelly 11:33am
Matt & Tom 11:34am







FIND UNSEEN
<

MAKE 13




< or > indicate teams switched Detours.




Who did the Road Block?
Who’s Your Driving Force?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

4 Matt Tom 5
5 Tyler Nathan 4
4 Jeff Luke 5
6 Dave Kelly 3
4 Sam Renae 5

3 Anastasia Chris 5
2 Alana Mel 4
2 Mo Mos 3
1 Joey Richard 2
1 Tracy Anne-Marie 2
2 Ryot Liberty 0



PIT STOP
Masada
Israel

1st Matt & Tom (+4)
2nd Jeff & Luke (-1)
3rd Tyler & Nathan (-1)
4th Sam & Renae (-1)
Eliminated Dave & Kelly (-1)






Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – Still the team I’m rooting for until the end.  Nice crying scene, good Racing, what’s not to like?
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – It seems their train ordeal has humbled them and I liked them a lot this leg.  Fun moments with them this week even though it was far from a perfect leg from them.  
Matt & Tom Matt & Tom – The farmers know how to keep their leads.  At the very least, they know how to maintain position, whether that be at the top or at the bottom of the pack, they maintain it until the Pit Stop.  Which really means how they start a leg determines how well they finish it.
GAP
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – Certainly a leg fitting for their bumpy Race performance since Leg 2.  I can’t sympathize with their “man’s world” comments though since the Race has been pretty balanced in terms of male-skewing and non-male-skewing tasks in the sense that aside from last week’s log task, teams have mostly had tasks that did not favor men over women.   And their poor performance hasn’t been due to the difficulty of tasks anyway.
GAP
Dave & Kelly Dave & Kelly – It’s about time.  Dave’s negative energy has been around since the first leg.  The unnecessary provocation, pointless snark, and unfunny jokes coupled with the constant whining and bitching was not at all enjoyable to watch. 


Quotes from Episode 1.09


Matt: “I’m hoping there’s some women around with dangerous curves.”

Jeff: “Are you sure we didn’t make a wrong turn and we’re in Iraq?”

Luke: “We just pulled over back there and asked Rambo whether or not he could give us some directions.  So he put down his M-16 and let us know we’d just gone past Masada.”











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Recap: The Amazing Race Australia 1, Episode 8 – “Why are you screaming?”

The Amazing Race Australia – Episode Eight

The Leg


Chris & Anastasia can’t celebrate their first place win since the leg isn’t over yet (and we can say this is one leg because they got no prize).  They open the next clue telling teams to take a train to Krakow, Poland where they’ll find a car in the carpark with their next clue.

They head to the station but miss the train to Krakow by minutes.  That allows Tyler & Nathan, Jeff & Luke, and Sam & Renae to catch up for the train getting them into Krakow at 3:16am.

Dave & Kelly and Matt & Tom end up on a train that gets them in at 6:24am.

En route to Krakow, it’s time for the missing passport drama that’s been hyped up the entire week.  The surfers and Sam & Renae sleep in the same cabin and Sam apparently notices two guys creeping through the window every couple of minutes.  They suddenly realize Tyler & Nathan’s fanny pack is missing.  They go up and down the train and eventually the girls just happen to come across it in an empty cabin.  Passports are in the pack, but all the cash is gone.

And so ends the overhyped passport drama.


The teams arrive in Krakow, find the cars and open their next clue which contains the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams head to the Wieliczka Salt Mine where they will descend 100 meters underground and push a cart full of rock salt down to the end of a mineshaft and dig through it to find crystal keys, one of which will open the ancient salt king’s crypt and reveal their next clue.



Teams head to the salt mine, but HOURS OF OPERATION! strike.  The sign says 6am, but for some reason Jeff tells Sam & Renae 8am.  Luke is flabbergasted.  What are you even saying, he asks and makes a face which sets off his father.

Luke gets a head start at the Road Block and finds one of the crystals but it doesn’t work.  The other three teams roll in and start digging, but it’s Luke that finds the right key first.  Nathan asks what it looks like, but Luke doesn’t give them a clue.


Jeff & Luke head back above ground and open the clue to reveal the Detour.
In Herd, teams drive into the countryside where they arrange a sheep pen and herd three marked sheep into the pen for their next clue.
In Hoe Down, teams head to the town of Zakopane where they’ll dress in traditional Highland costume and learn and perform the trational Polish axe dance.  



The teams all choose Herd, including Matt & Tom and Dave & Kelly who are bringing up the rear.  Sam & Renae get to the sheep first and while the other three catch up, they finish first as well.

Teams must now head to Cape Stylchen in Czorstyn where they’ll encounter an Intersection. 
Sam & Renae and Chris & Anastasia get there first and team up.  Here, teams must use a double-handled saw to slice off four slabs from a log, alternating partners after each slab.

Sam & Renae go first and realize this isn’t going to be easy.  Tyler & Nathan and Jeff & Luke team up and even Matt & Tom and Dave & Kelly catch up with all six teams now at the Intersection task. 



Sam & Renae get through their slice, but Anastasia is struggling through theirs.  She pushes through the pain and frustration, but just can’t take it anymore.  They decide to quit the task which ensures a four hour penalty.

They are given the next clue and sure enough, it is the Pit Stop at Niedzica Castle.  Sam & Renae step on the Mat and Grant tells them they have a two hour penalty since they had made one cut in the task.  Chris & Anastasia get the full four hour penalty.

Jeff & Luke and Tyler & Nathan finish the task and they head to the Pit Stop.  Tyler & Nathan settle for 2nd as they let Jeff & Luke take the win and the A$10,000 for being so instrumental in their finishing the leg.



While Dave and Tom saw their last block, Sam & Renae’s penalty is over and they check in 3rd.

It’s over for Chris & Anastasia as Dave & Kelly and Matt & Tom officially check in 4th and 5th respectively.  And the dating couple is officially eliminated from the Race.


Episode Thoughts
A crazy leg thanks in large part to that horribly placed Intersection.  First time an Intersection has appeared on any Race before a non-Road Block or Detour I believe.  And the first time an Intersection has appeared right before a Pit Stop.

Definitely an odd placement for one.  But what’s even more baffling is how difficult the task was especially considering TARA4 did that same task, only harder in Leg 6 in New Zealand.  On TARA, it wasn’t an intersection, but teams had to saw off four slices and then individually slice one each… on their own.  How teams struggled here on TARAu either says a lot about Australians, a lot about Asians, or a lot about the difference between logs and saws in New Zealand and Poland.

Both times were pretty physical, but TARA’s task was not the deciding factor in the elimination since it wasn’t right before the Pit Stop. 

And the placement of the double leg, proven to be on the wrong point in the Race since the train just bunched them all up anyway.  Plus the Detour was a pretty lopsided one too.

And what about that passport faux-drama eh?  Those two creepers being nice and considerate and leaving their passports while only taking the money.  Really?  That seems a lot fishier than just random wackos going around stealing stuff.

Leg design criticism aside, Poland looks beautiful indeed.  

But what about that preview… ISRAEL!?!?! TAR going to ISRAEL?!  That’ll certainly be interesting.

And on the lighter side of things, that Polish grandma’s “eh, whatever” to the surfers as they rudely snub her was cute and funny.  More awesome locals on TAR please!




PIT STOP
Church of Bones
Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

ROUTE MARKER
Kraków Główny railway station
Krakow, Poland

ROAD BLOCK
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Krakow

DETOUR
Zakopane, Poland

ROUTE MARKER
Cape Stylchen
Czorsztyn , Poland

PIT STOP
Niedzica Castle
Niedzica, Poland



HERD







HOE DOWN

< or > indicate teams switched Detours.




Who did the Road Block?
When push comes to shove, who digs adventure?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

3 Jeff Luke 5
4 Sam Renae 4
3 Anastasia Chris 5
4 Tyler Nathan 4
4 Matt Tom 4
5 Dave Kelly 3


Who wants to scale the heavenly heights?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

3 Anastasia Chris 4
4 Tyler Nathan 3
2 Jeff Luke 5
4 Sam Renae 3
4 Dave Kelly 3
3 Matt Tom 4

2 Alana Mel 4
2 Mo Mos 3
1 Joey Richard 2
1 Tracy Anne-Marie 2
2 Ryot Liberty 0



PIT STOP 1
Church of Bones
Kutná Hora

1st Chris & Anastasia (+1)
2nd Tyler & Nathan (-1)
3rd Jeff & Luke (=)
4th Sam & Renae (+2)
5th Dave & Kelly (=)
6th Matt & Tom (-2)


PIT STOP 2
Niedzica Castle
Niedzica, Poland

1st Jeff & Luke (+2)
2nd Tyler & Nathan (=)
3rd Sam & Renae (+1)
4th Dave & Kelly (+1)
5th Matt & Tom (+1)
6th Chris & Anastasia (-5)



Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – They’re my only hope left!  With Chris & Anastasia gone, they’re the only team I’m actively rooting for to win, but judging from how the Race has gone so far, I feel like Jeff & Luke are certainly not safe at all.  That physical Intersection task definitely played right to their literal strengths.  And their little spat before the Road Block was nothing to note even.  But if they stay positive and not make horrible navigational mistakes, they have a shot.
Anastasia & Chris Anastasia & Chris – What a horrible way to go.  Up until this leg, Anastasia’s been a trooper.  Her breakdowns haven’t been because a task has been too difficult, but more her relationship with Chris.  So her not being able to do the task was a little surprising.  Quitting always sucks on TAR and there have definitely been teams that have quit doing much, much less than teams did this leg.  Chris & Anastasia could’ve done well, but TARAu is shaping up to be a crazy season.
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – Another okay leg from them.  Jeff & Luke did give them a boost at the Intersection, otherwise they were running fourth the entire leg.  And of course, teams are less fun when they aren’t in the front of the pack, so they weren’t as fun and enjoyable this week.  
Matt & Tom Matt & Tom – Not a good leg for them at all.  They were saved merely by Chris & Anastasia quitting.  And them trailing Dave & Kelly the entire leg is a cause for concern as well.
GAP
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – I totally expected them to be catty about Anastasia breaking down, but they weren’t so I give them props for that.  But I wanted more paranoia.  They aren’t exciting in the Race department, so at least be more fun by being crazy paranoid.  The most interesting thing about them this leg though was them finding the guys’ fanny pack.  Suspicious much? lol
Dave & Kelly Dave & Kelly – Dave is a jerk.  Like seriously.  Kelly is alright most of the time, but Dave just doesn’t stop being an annoying jerk.  It’s unreal. 


Quotes from Episode 1.08

Luke: “I haven’t been map reading that well, but I’m not failing shapes at this stage.”

Anastasia: “I told you to slow down so I can read what freaking streets are coming up.  But you would rather drive at 70ks an hour instead of 40 like a tourist.  Slow.  The hell.  Down.  Slow down, so we can look at the street signs and read it, that’s all I care about.”
Chris: “Why are you screaming?  What are you getting angry for?”











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Recap: The Amazing Race Australia 1, Episode 7 – “I would’ve thrown you out the window if you’d said no.”

The Amazing Race Australia – Episode Seven

The Leg

It’s still dark out and Tyler & Nathan open the first clue of the leg telling teams to head to Dancing House in Prague and search the vicinity for marked 1982 Czech sedans known as Škodas.  Once they find the cars under the bridge, their next clue will be on the dash.

Matt & Tom, who leave the Pit Stop in fourth, are told by a local woman that the Dancing House is about a 15 minute walk.  Oops.  The surfers, after taking a taxi, find the cars and open the clue telling teams to head to Zimni Ice Hockey Rink where they must go up against a Czech national goalie and score once to receive their next clue.

Hours of Operation strike and Chris & Anastasia and Jeff & Luke catch up to Tyler & Nathan when the rink opens at 7:30am.

While the first three teams make no progress on the ice, neither are Sam & Renae in finding the cars as they wander about for a while before Renae decides to stop being stubborn and takes Sam’s suggestion to look under the bridge.

Matt & Tom have already found the car, but can’t find the rink until they get stopped by the local authorities a 2nd time after their little run-in in South Africa.  After checking them out, the officer decides to lead them straight to the rink.

At the rink, Tyler and Chris finally get the puck in the net and they get their next clue.  Teams must now climb up the tower at St. Nicholas Cathedral, stick their heads out the windows and take a photo of a “flagged person of interest” by zooming in on somewhere on the streets below.  What the teams don’t know is there are two flagged people, but the correct one is the man waving the yellow and red Race flag.

They head off with Jeff & Luke right behind.  Dave & Kelly and Matt & Tom arrive and Dave is getting very frustrated, threatening to quit and threatening to smash the goalie’s face in with the hockey stick.  They decide to stick it out instead as Sam & Renae manage to find the rink finally.

Jeff & Luke, having paid a guy to lead them, arrive at the tower first.  They have to take the photo within 30 seconds of arriving atop the tower.  Luke takes the photo of the wrong guy and are handed a clue with their penalty; they must head back down and count how many steps there are in the tower (304) before getting their next clue.

Both Chris & Anastasia and Tyler & Nathan also take the wrong picture, but the surfers also miscount the stairs so they do it again.


After counting, the teams get the clue and the Detour.  In both Detours, teams head to the Pilsner brewery.
In Stack Up, teams will go to the factor and correctly stack 2 pallets of beer cartons.
In Stack In, teams will go to the Formanka restaurant at the brewery and eat 18 traditional Czech sausages made from pig’s head, tongue, heart, and liver. 

Jeff & Luke immediately choose Stack Up, but Chris & Anastasia and Tyler & Nathan decide the sausages are the way to go… until they actually taste the sausage and then decide to switch.

Meanwhile, the bottom three teams are neck and neck.  Matt & Tom, having photographed the wrong flagged man as well and wanting to be gentlemen to Sam & Renae who’ve just arrived, tell the girls not to take a photo of the man with a big flag.  Which technically is half-bad advice and now the girls think everyone’s out to get them.

As Chris & Anastasia and Tyler & Nathan catch up, Jeff & Luke just finish stacking and get the next clue telling them to head to the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and St. John the Baptist in Kutna Hora. 

While the bottom three teams get testy with each other at the factory, the father and son get lost, allowing Chris & Anastasia to arrive at the church first where they encounter the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams will head up to the attic of the church and then abseil through the ceiling at the altar before receiving the next clue.

Anastasia decides to do it and like an angel, comes floating down from the ceiling.  She and Chris kiss before opening the next clue telling them to make their way to the Bone Church where “Grant Bowler awaits.”

They head to the church and Grant informs them they are Team #1, but… it isn’t over yet.

TO BE CONTINUED!

Episode Thoughts
This was a great leg.  And as Grant said, it isn’t over yet.  It is a wonder how TARAu can fit in so much in ~45 minute episodes while TARUS struggles to fill episodes themselves with pointless filler better suited as “Secret Scenes” on CBS.com (ahem, basketball game anyone?).  And that’s all thanks to TARAu’s use of extra tasks. 

It bears repeating, TARUS has pretty much done away with such nonsense in favor of boring streamlined legs that have a Clue > Road Block/Detour > Detour/Road Block > Pit Stop format.

While this leg maybe isn’t the best example of it, having multiple tasks in one leg in addition to the Road Blocks and Detours can help provide the drama (or lulz) and shake up team standings. 

It was also hilariously interesting that being used to seeing teams have figuring how to drive on the left side of the road in the past on TARUS, we had to see teams fumble with driving on the right side of the road and having the driver on the left side of the car on TARAu.  A reminder that yes, this is The Amazing Race Australia and yes, these are Aussies.

And both yay and boo to having a TBC/double-leg/superleg this week instead of last week.  No, not just so we could enjoy more Melana.  But because this could end up being a waste and a bad place to put a double-leg.

From the preview, it appears the clue Grant hands the teams will tell them to take a train to Krakow in Poland.  Which inevitably means an equalizer.

I know the main purpose of TBC/superlegs/double-legs are to have less non-elims, but I also like TAR exhausting the teams with them, which in turn would provide more stress and drama situations.  If it’s a double-leg and they get to sleep on a train anyway, it’s basically a non-elimination leg with no penalty. Hmph.

It would’ve been much better to have the double-leg continue into the night in Prague (like the China double leg in TAR14) and other than the task at the tower, nothing else required daylight to complete. 

And other than that, the leg itself was great.

PIT STOP
Prague Castle
Prague, Czech Republic

CASH
A$40

ROUTE MARKER
Dancing House
Prague

Zimni Ice Hockey Rink
Kladno, Czech Republic

St. Nicholas Cathedral
Louny, Czech Republic

DETOUR
Pilsner Urquell
Pilsen, Czech Republic

ROAD BLOCK
Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and St. John the Baptist
Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

PIT STOP
Church of Bones
Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

Prague Castle
Prague, Czech Republic

Tyler & Nathan 5:31am
Chris & Anastasia 5:59am
Jeff & Luke 6:12am
Matt & Tom 6:13am
Dave & Kelly 6:45am
Sam & Renae 6:57am

STACK UP

<
<


<

STACK IN

< or > indicate teams switched Detours.

Who did the Road Block?
Who wants to scale the heavenly heights?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

3 Anastasia Chris 4
4 Tyler Nathan 3
2 Jeff Luke 5

The last three teams have not arrived at the Road Block.
3 Sam Renae 3
4 Dave Kelly 2
3 Matt Tom 3

2 Alana Mel 4
2 Mo Mos 3
1 Joey Richard 2
1 Tracy Anne-Marie 2
2 Ryot Liberty 0

PIT STOP
Church of Bones
Kutná Hora

1st Chris & Anastasia (+1)
*Chris & Anastasia were the only team who have checked-in so far.

Team standings at the end of the episode:
1st Chris & Anastasia
2nd Tyler & Nathan
3rd Jeff & Luke
4th Sam & Renae
5th Dave & Kelly
6th Matt & Tom

Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – They’re right.  It’s about time they get a first place finish.  But that isn’t going to happen if they stumble with directions.  They blew a big lead and ended up in 3rd.  What happened there!?  Still, they’re good people and they should physically have what it takes.  Now for the mental part of the Race.
Anastasia & Chris Anastasia & Chris – A strong leg from them.  Definitely a bummer on them getting first place on a double-leg though.  But at least they’re working well together and chugging along.   
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – An okay leg for them save for that blunder at the tower.  They’ve been Racing well, but little things like that could hurt them down the line. They were also much more fun and likeable this leg.
Matt & Tom Matt & Tom – They too were much more fun and likeable this leg.  It could also be partly on their innocence in wanting to help the girls out at the tower and then minding their own business at the Detour.  Tom is also less annoying than Matt who tries too hard to be a country bumpkin. 
GAP
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – Their paranoia is hilarious and really the only great thing about them.  I wouldn’t mind seeing them last a little longer just to see them think the whole world is against them and have them look over their shoulders at nothing the entire Race.  Otherwise, they’re pretty much settling into a fodder sort of mode rather than alpha-females like we were led to believe at first.
Dave & Kelly Dave & Kelly – Yes, Dave & Kelly are the married couple version of TAR16’s Mike & Louie.  All the whining in this leg plus their not-funny and not-cuteness continuing… oh brother. 
Quotes from Episode 1.07

Matt: “I would’ve thrown you out the window if you’d said no.”

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Recap: The Amazing Race Australia 1, Episode 6 – “Why would you even come on the Race and act like a girl.”

The Amazing Race Australia – Episode Six

The Leg

Tyler & Nathan open the first clue of the leg telling teams to fly to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.  The surfers, Matt & Tom, Jeff & Luke, and Kelly & Dave are first at the airport and get on the flight leaving after 7pm while Alana & Mel, Sam & Renae, and Chris & Anastasia just manage to catch it.

All the teams get into Amsterdam and take either a taxi or train to Oud Hollands Gebakkraam food stand where they must buy and eat two Applebols, traditional doughnuts, before receiving their next clue.

Train takers Kelly & Dave and Jeff & Luke get to the Applebols first, down ’em, and get the next clue telling teams to take a train to Prague, Czech Republic.  The first four teams get tickets to sleeper cabins while the last three teams have to spend the 15 hour train ride in seats.

Chris & Anastasia and Matt & Tom snatch up the last two sleeper tickets, leaving Sam & Renae, Tyler & Nathan, and an almost run-over Alana & Mel in seats.

It’s 9am and they arrive in Prague.  Now teams must make their way to the Powder Tower, one of the old city gates, for their next clue.  Tyler & Nathan’s taxi lets them off right next to the cluebox, but they don’t see it and instead decide to check inside the tower.  The other teams follow them in.

Having been the last team to grab a taxi out of the train station, Alana & Mel have luck on their side and they easily spot the cluebox first.  They open the clue telling them to head to Charles Bridge.  “Once there, the holey statue will lead you to your next clue.”

All the teams head to the bridge and again walk around with their heads cut off.  Chris points out the “holey” part of the clue and tells Alana & Mel and Tyler & Nathan they probably have to stick their hand into the statue for the next clue… and he’s right.


The three teams go grab the clue and find the Detour.
In Chivalry, teams dress up in armour and search the Old Town Square for a man who will give them a key if they ask “Do you have the key to the damsel’s heart?”  They will then search the Square for a damsel in distress at the Hotel U Prince where they’ll exchange the key for a clue.
In Delivery, teams will have to carry a young princess in a royal sedan chair to the Narodni Galerie in Old Town Square for their next clue.

Alana & Mel, Chris & Anastasia, and Tyler & Nathan all choose Delivery, and it isn’t so easy for any of them.  Thinking this, Kelly & Dave and Matt & Tom head over to Chivalry, but it isn’t exactly a walk in the park (or square) either.

As the teams struggle with carrying the little princess, Sam & Renae can’t even find either of the Detours.  They run into Jeff & Luke who’ve chosen Delivery as well and Luke points towards the right direction, but girls decide to go the opposite way and then blame the father and son.


Tyler & Nathan manage to finish the Detour first and the little princess hands them the next clue, the Road Block.  Teams must now head to a little medieval village by the river and choose one of the targets on an archery range.  There, teams must hit the colored target twice before finishing the 40 given arrows.  If they hit a bullseye, they’ll receive a bonus A$50 NAB card to use on the Race.

They head to the Road Block, Nathan takes care of the target and they head off to the Pit Stop at Prague Castle to check-in first, winning a A$5000 shopping spree at Kathmandu.

Chris & Anastasia finish the Detour next and Chris does the Road Block.  He gets one, but has trouble hitting a 2nd.  With only six arrows left, Chris pulls back and hits one right in the middle.  They are handed their clue and their NAB card and check-in at the Pit Stop in 2nd.

At the Square, Kelly & Dave then Matt & Tom find the key and eventually find the damsel.  Jeff & Luke catch up at the Road Block as Dave finishes first of the three.  Matt hasn’t hit the target at all and he has no arrows left.  He asks Dave for his spare arrows before he and Kelly leave, but he just laughs and runs off. 

Luke hits the target and has about 30 arrows left.  Matt asks him and Luke hands over all 30 of his arrows, hoping the gesture will help them in the future.  Dave & Kelly decide to take a train to save money, but that allows taxi takers Jeff & Luke and Matt & Tom to finish 3rd and 4th respectively.  The bikers end up in 5th.

After Alana & Mel decide to drag their princess to the Square, they head off to the Road Block with Alana opting to do it.  Somehow, Sam & Renae stop wandering about and finish the Detour and catch up to the sisters.

It’s Alana vs. Renae and Renae manages to come out on top.  The models head to the Pit Stop in 6th, leaving sister Alana & Mel last and eliminated.

Episode Thoughts
Save for the ending, it was an interesting, yet simple episode.  I have to say, I am both annoyed and amused at the random, out of the way route markers on TARAu.  First, that one hour stay in Ho Chi Minh before training it to Hue, then the four hour drive to and from a cluebox miles away from Port Elizabeth, and now their one hour stay in Amsterdam. 

Again, I like that TARAu’s legs actually last more than an hour or two in real time, but I’m sure they could’ve saved some money from avoiding the out of the way route markers while still keep the leg full.

This leg borrowed from the 7th leg of TARA2, with TARAu using the TARA Road Block as one side of the Detour and using one side of the TARA Detour as this leg’s Road Block.  It is also cute that TARAu kept the route marker at the “holey” statue which also tripped up the TARA2 teams. 

It was probably the simplest leg of the season with their fates resting on the teams’ own decisions about Detour choice and navigational skills.

I also find it very interesting that TARAu has no set time limit each episode.  Sometimes more than an hour, other times just under 50 minutes.  It definitely breaks the tired and predictable format of TARUS where you know what’s coming up thanks to the specific time in the episode.

PIT STOP
Rhodes Memorial
Cape Town, South Africa

CASH
A$300

ROUTE MARKER
Oud Hollands Gebakkraam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Powder Tower
Prague, Czech Republic

Charles Bridge – Statue of St. Vitus
Prague

DETOUR
Old Town Square
Prague

ROAD BLOCK
Medieval Villiage by the Vltava
Prague

PIT STOP
Prague Castle
Prague, Czech Republic

Rhodes Memorial
Cape Town, South Africa

Tyler & Nathan 3:15pm
Matt & Tom 3:34pm
Jeff & Luke 3:46pm
Kelly & Dave 4:56pm
Alana & Mel 5:36pm
Sam & Renae 5:40pm
Chris & Anastasia 5:45pm

CHIVALRY

DELIVERY




Who did the Road Block?
Who’s aim is true?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

3 Tyler Nathan 3
2 Anastasia Chris 4
4 Dave Kelly 2
2 Jeff Luke 4
3 Matt Tom 3
3 Sam Renae 3
2 Alana Mel 4

2 Mo Mos 3
1 Joey Richard 2
1 Tracy Anne-Marie 2
2 Ryot Liberty 0

PIT STOP
Prague Castle
Prague, Czech Republic

1st Tyler & Nathan (=)
2nd Chris & Anastasia (+5)
3rd Jeff & Luke (=)
4th Matt & Tom (-2)
5th Kelly & Dave (-1)
6th Sam & Renae (=)
Eliminated Alana & Mel (-2)

Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – They are continuing to do well on the Race and are staying the most likeable as well.  Though a little under the radar, they at least remain strong and barring a huge misstep, they should be in it for the long haul.
Anastasia & Chris Anastasia & Chris – Too bad they didn’t keep their 7-3 streak going, but better news for them, they move up to their highest placement yet in 2nd.  After their huge meltdown last week, they recover and have a good leg.  They are up and down, but when they do get their act together, they can do very well.  And major props to Chris for figuring out the “holey” route marker. 
Alana & Mel Alana & Mel – A shame they had to get eliminated like this.  That Detour choice definitely killed them.  They might still be in the Race if they hadn’t followed the pack and done the obvious strength Detour.  I’m glad they didn’t quit.  They pushed through and almost squeaked by, but it wasn’t meant to be.  I would’ve loved to have seen them in the final 3.
GAP
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – Another win for them.  But not exactly the smoothest one.  Missing that cluebox right in front of their face is definitely nothing new on TAR, but it is always hilarious when it happens. They benefited from a Detour catered to male teams.  While I wouldn’t mind them winning, it wouldn’t be the most exciting win ever either.
Matt & Tom Matt & Tom – Again, like Tyler & Nathan, they are Racing well, but without much personality.  It doesn’t necessarily mean outbursts or blowups, but it would be nice to have fun while watching a team do well, right?
GAP
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – I think it is safe to say that the first leg was a fluke and they got really, really lucky.  They have been a subpar team since then and have really shown no signs of having what it takes to really win.  They’re horrible at navigation, so-so at challenges, and if it weren’t for their looks, they might be wandering around airports by now.  Where Alana & Mel’s drive and personality made them a rootable team, Sam & Renae’s lack thereof and overreliance on looks and needing to remind the viewers that they aren’t just dumb blondes (which they unfortunately haven’t proven yet) make them the complete opposite.
Dave & Kelly Dave & Kelly – I haven’t felt this uncomfortable from a trying-hard team since the cops from TAR16.  They’re still not as funny or cute as they think they are. 
Quotes from Episode 1.06

Tyler: “Oi, eat it.”
Nathan: “Shut up Tyler.  I’ll eat it how I wanna eat it.”
Tyler: “Eat it mate.  You’re doing it like a girl.”
Nathan: “It’s alright.  I’ll eat it how I wanna eat it brother.  Relax.”
Tyler: “Why would you even come on the Race and act like a girl.”
 
Alana: “You alright little princess?  You okay?”
Mel: “Yup, she’s holdin’ on for deal life.”

Kelly: “I’m walking like I’ve just given birth to something large.”

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Recap: The Amazing Race Australia 1, Episode 5 – “Our thing farted.”

The Amazing Race Australia – Episode Five

The Leg


Its 4 in the morning and Matt & Tom and Tyler & Nathan open the first clue of the 5th leg of the Race telling teams to fly to Cape Town and head to Dolphin Beach for their next clue. 

All the teams get on the same flight and they fly to Cape Town.  Once there, they hop into taxis and Matt & Tom maintain their place on top by getting to the cluebox first along with Tyler & Nathan, Jeff & Luke, Chris & Anastasia and Alana & Mel where they find the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams drive themselves to the Melkboss Air Strip where they’ll have to complete a tandem skydive from 9000 feet.  Their team member will help guide them at the landing site using flares.



Sam & Renae and Dave & Kelly are bringing up the rear while Mo & Mos have to walk/run a kilometer and/or mile down the beach after their taxi drops them off way off the mark.

Teams gear up for the Road Block and despite fears of heights and soiling themselves, they all make the jump and land safely on the ground.

Now teams have to make their way to Nobel Square in Cape Town for their next clue, but also where they’ll find the Intersection where teams have to pair up with another team and complete all tasks together until they are told otherwise.

Matt & Tom and Chris & Anastasia are the first pair of Intersected teams and they open the clue telling them to head to Kargo Warehouse where they will hitch and load a trailer with gifts for the children of the Intyatyambo Orphanage.  After delivering the toys and groceries, they’ll receive their next clue.

Tyler & Nathan wait for Jeff & Luke while Alana & Mel arrive before Dave & Kelly, but decide to take a loo and twinkle break first.  That leaves Sam & Renae with no choice but to wait and Intersect with Mo & Mos.



The first two teams get their trailers loaded, but Alana & Mel and Dave & Kelly can’t find each other getting out of the Harbor carpark.  Sam & Renae meanwhile continue their flirtatious strategy and get a couple of policemen to lead them and Mo & Mos straight to the warehouse where the girls get frustrated with Mo & Mos’… Mo & Mos-ness.

On the way to the orphanage, it’s the obligatory “eyes opened” sequence where teams are in awe of the poor conditions people live in, but are enlightened nonetheless.  At the orphanage, teams are touched by the smiles on the children’s’ faces when they arrive and they all enjoy the short time they have there.


But the Race continues.  The teams are no longer Intersected and teams find the Detour.
In Guns, teams head to the Valley Club Shooting Range where they must shoot nine flying clay tiles.
In Rosé, teams head to a winery where they must collect a large barrel and bring it up to tanks where they’ll fill the barrels with rosé wine.



Matt & Tom, Jeff & Luke, and Tyler & Nathan go play with guns while Chris & Anastasia head to Rosé.  Chris carries the barrel all by himself.  That’s fine.  But then Anastasia opens the tap, the bucket overflows and Chris unloads.  He starts screaming, lecturing and insulting Anastasia about not waiting to open the tap.  She takes a seat while Chris does the Detour himself, while continuing to scold her.

The teams finish up at the Detour and they receive their next clue pointing them to the Atlantis Dunes where they have ride all-terrain vehicles across the sand dunes and search among 15 baskets for two that contain clues.  Under the other 13 baskets are hourglasses of varying sizes.  If a team uncovers the hourglass, they’ll have to wait until the sands run out before moving on to the next basket until they find the clue.

Tyler & Nathan, Matt & Tom and Jeff & Luke are the first ones there and after a few hourglassed-baskets, they find the clues and they are directed to the Pit Stop at Nobel Square in Cape Town.

While Sam backs into her own trailer, Chris & Anastasia have the luck to find the basket with the 45 minute hourglass.  And to kick ’em while they’re done, their car keys are lost… in the sand dunes.



As Dave & Kelly head off to the Pit Stop and Chris & Anastasia scour the dunes for keys, Mo & Mos zoom past Alana & Mel and Sam & Renae to head out into the dunes before them.

At the Pit Stop, Tyler & Nathan squeak by and officially win the leg and a A$5000 home entertainment system from Bing Lee.  Matt & Tom have to settle for 2nd, with Jeff & Luke checking-in 3rd and Dave & Kelly up in 4th.

Alana & Mel luck out and find the clues and head to the Pit Stop in 5th.

Back at the dunes, Mo & Mos finally finish their hourglass and head off while Sam & Renae find the clue. 

After Chris & Anastasia find the car key, they take another blow to gut… literally, in Anastasia’s case.  She speeds off ahead of Chris over a hill and goes flying and then smashing down below, slamming her body into the ATV and then throwing her off.

She’s fine though and they find the clue and head back to their car… but now the key would flip out.  Sam & Renae come running (where were they?!) and they help Christasia with the key before they head off together.  Sam & Renae finish 6th, while Chris & Anastasia flip-flop back to 7th.

That leaves friends Mo & Mos last and eliminated.



Episode Thoughts
Another good episode.  What I liked best was it being a great example of how legs can last longer than an hour or two.  The teams this leg were Racing the whole day.  And it’s been that way for the previous legs as well.

That is unlike TARUS which seems to prefer having episodes play out in real time and having legs be run in less than an hour or two.

TARUS has pretty much done away with extra tasks and focused on Detours and Road Blocks only, sometimes skipping one or the other altogether.  Which is what makes TARAu much more fun and exciting with all the extra tasks they have to do.

The tasks help build more excitement and allow for teams to slip up or get ahead instead of the legs being decided right at the beginning with no opportunity for teams to catch up and/or fail.

Also nice to see TAR in South Africa as well and TARA and TARAu  appear to love making a point to do something good for the childrens every season which is also nice.



PIT STOP
Addo Elephant National Park
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

DESTINATION CITY
Cape Town

ROUTE MARKER
Dolphin Beach
Cape Town

ROAD BLOCK
Melkboss Air Strip
Melkbosstrand, Cape Town

ROUTE MARKERS
Nobel Square
Cape Town

Intyatyambo Orphanage
Khayelitsha, Cape Town

DETOUR
Valley Club Shooting Range or Winery
Cape Town

ROUTE MARKER
Atlantis Dunes
Macau

PIT STOP
Rhodes Memorial
Cape Town, South Africa



Addo Elephant National Park
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Matt & Tom  4:09:00am
Tyler & Nathan 4:09:30am
Chris & Anastasia 4:26am
Jeff & Luke 4:36am
Sam & Renae 5:03am
Kelly & Dave 5:32am
Alana & Mel 5:48am
Mo & Mos 5:54am




GUNS





ROSÉ



> or < indicates team switched Detours.




Who did the Road Block?
Who’s up for a bird’s eye view of Cape Town?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

2 Matt Tom 3
3 Tyler Nathan 2
2 Anastasia Chris 3
2 Jeff Luke 3
1 Alana Mel 4
3 Dave Kelly 2
3 Sam Renae 2
2 Mo Mos 3

1 Joey Richard 2
1 Tracy Anne-Marie 2
2 Ryot Liberty 0



PIT STOP
Rhodes Memorial
Cape Town, South Africa

1st Tyler & Nathan (+1)
2nd Matt & Tom (-1)
3rd Jeff & Luke (+1)
4th Kelly & Dave (+2)
5th Alana & Mel (+2)
6th Sam & Renae (-1)
7th Chris & Anastasia (-4)
Eliminated Mo & Mos (=)



Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – They’re moving along consistently and I am liking them more and more each week, but now I’m hoping they step up their game and really show what they’re capable of.  Though it can be beneficial to be consistent and under the radar, it certainly doesn’t hurt to step it up and maybe help avoid the cowboys/farmers and the surfers exchanging Pit Stop prizes.
Anastasia & Chris Anastasia & Chris – In some legs, there’ll be a team that just steals the show and this leg it was Christasia.  Their meltdowns, missteps, bickering, and eventual making up was hilariously entertaining.  Just when you think it couldn’t get worse for them, it did.  A hilarious folly of mistakes, and added to with the fact that they’ve placed 7th-3rd-7th-3rd-7th so far makes it even better.  Here’s hoping they place 3rd next week! 
Alana & Mel Alana & Mel – Now that they don’t have Richard & Joey to harp on about, they can get to talk about more important things… like each other.  Alana finally doing a Road Block was great, but she’ll still have to catch up to Mel in the count.   The sisterly tension, but “up” attitude about it all makes them very enjoyable to watch.
Mo & Mos Mo & Mos – They went out with a bang, avoiding soiling their pants and all.  While it would’ve been nice to see them do well, they just couldn’t keep up and it was time.  They were funny and not forcibly so, but their Racing skills and physical limitations just didn’t help them. 
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – A good win for them, but I can’t help but feel bored by them.  They’re definitely doing well, but aren’t exactly exciting in doing so. 
Matt & Tom Matt & Tom – Like Tyler & Nathan, they’re Racing very well, but aren’t all that exciting.  Their country bumpkin-ness is old news, now it’s time to show some personality beyond that from the farm.
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – They’re really starting to settle into being a completely lackluster team.  With them using their looks, as they admit, they might be in even more trouble than they are now.  And with Mo & Mos gone, they’re going to be the elimination escape artists of the Race.  Very disappointing.
Dave & Kelly Dave & Kelly – Best moment from them so far this season really was that scene at the gas station.  Absurdly hilarious, but not enough to redeem all that pointless high and mighty act over the other teams and this newfound giggle condition that makes them think they’re Anne-Marie & Tracy or something.  Sorry, you’re not.


Quotes from Episode 1.05

Anastasia: “Yeah, we both have to realize that any one of is allowed to use our heads even though we both have heads.”
Chris: “I don’t know what the hell that means man!”

Alana: “No need to rush, take your time.”
Skydiver: “I thought you were in a Race!”

Mel: “Our thing farted.”







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Recap: The Amazing Race Australia 1, Episode 4 – “I swear to God… I’m going to throw you off this bridge.”

The Amazing Race Australia – Episode Four

The Leg


Richard & Joey kick off the fourth leg as they open the first clue telling them to fly to Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  Teams will have to search the airport carpark for marked cars with clues on the dash. 

With a more than three hour lead on the rest of the teams thanks to the Fast Forward, they catch a flight connecting through Bangkok to Johannesburg where they’ll eventually get caught up at by the rest of the teams, including Mo & Mos who were originally five hours behind the next closest team, Sam & Renae thanks to their penalty last leg for quitting.

So the leg really begins as the nine teams race out of the airport and find their next clue inside the cars telling them to drive themselves to the Valley of the Desolation at Camdeboo National Park, 300km away, for their next clue.

While Alana & Mel make themselves the stereotypical “I can’t drive a stick” team, Nathan & Tyler get to the cluebox first and find the Detour.


In this Detour, teams have to drive all the way back to Port Elizabeth to the Kragga Kamma Game Park.
In Smash, teams have to use a traditional African weapon called a knobkierie to break four hanging vases to receive their next clue.
In Bash, teams have to build a giraffe feeder using tools and materials provided.  When the park ranger approves, they’ll get their next clue.



The teams drive all the way back to Port Elizabeth and the game park only to find Hours of Operation have struck again and the park will open tomorrow at 7am.

After spending the night, teams caravan into the game park with Joey & Richard leading the way.  And unfortunately for them, leading the way on grassy, muddy terrain might not have been the best thing to do.  The caravan comes to a muddy crossing and Richard doesn’t quite eye it correctly and they end up getting stuck.

The caravan looks on (and laughs) as Richard & Joey get out and try to unstuck themselves.  Chris & Anastasia decide to give it a go, but they get stuck too.  Tyler & Nathan can’t wait anymore so they move a couple of branches and they speed through in between the two stalled 4x4s.  It looks like a third team is about to get stuck… but they manage to find the right path and they head off.

Sam & Renae follow suit, Chris & Anastasia break free and speed forward as do the rest of the teams, leaving Richard & Joey behind. 



The teams get to their Detour choices.  While Matt & Tom and Tyler & Nathan were getting lucky with smashing the vases, Mo & Mos and Jeff & Luke decide to switch joining Chris & Anastasia, Alana & Mel and Sam & Renae at the Bash side of the Detour.


Matt & Tom finish the Detour first they open their next clue revealing the Road Block.  In this Road Block, teams head to Bloukrans Bridge and attempt the world’s largest bungee jump at 216m to receive their next clue.

But the clue has a P.S. – “Caution.  U-Turn ahead.”

Matt & Tom decide not to waste their U-Turn now, but Tyler & Nathan do.  And they U-Turn the “dodgy” Richard & Joey in the hopes they get eliminated.



Chris & Anastasia, Dave & Kelly, and Sam & Renae finish next.  Richard & Joey decide to go build the giraffe feeder and actually finish ahead of Alana & Mel and Mo & Mos.  They get to the U-Turn and are surprised, but not surprised to see their picture on it. 

Meanwhile, the police decide to stop Matt & Tom after they’ve received complaints of some cars driving too fast on the highway.  That’s all, the policeman says and tells them to enjoy their stay in South Africa.

With the little stop, Tyler & Nathan and Chris & Anastasia get to the Road Block first before the farmers.  They make the jump and they open their next clue telling them to head to the village of Nomathamsanqa, collect a goat from a marked pen and deliver it to the local witch doctor known as a sangoma. 



Richard & Joey fight their frustrations and finally finish the Detour and they head off.  But Nathan & Tyler and Matt & Tom are already collecting their goats and dragging them along the village roads. 

They get their clue and head to the Pit Stop at the Addo Elephant National Park.  They stay neck and neck on the road and then it’s a foot race to the Mat with Matt & Tom just edging Nathan & Tyler for the first place finish and a A$5,000 shopping spree in at Kathmandu.

Chris & Anastasia have a little dance with locals and take 3rd while Jeff & Luke feel bad about dragging their pregnant goat so they carry her to the sangoma and head to the Pit Stop in 4th.



Sam & Renae and Dave & Kelly finish uneventful in 5th and 6th.  Mel accidentally fingers the goat’s bum though and they check-in 7th.  Richard & Joey, having caught up again to Mo & Mos and the girls have trouble with their goat.  After Joey screams at it, it finally decides to run.

Now it’s a race to the Pit Stop for the last two teams, but it’s Mo & Mos that squeak by again to finish 8th, leaving Richard & Joey in last and eliminated.


Episode Thoughts
This was a pretty simple leg, but having extra tasks like the goat in addition to the Detours and Road Blocks are very welcome.  It’s something I wish TARUS would do more of since they’ve moved away from them the last couple of years. 

Those poor goats though! Some teams were yanking on their horns and dragging their hooves.  Brutal!

Having the teams need to drive through the mud pit was pretty genius though, but the most hilarious part of the episode had to be that random and completely unnecessary 300km drive just to get one clue.  That’s about 2-3 hours each way just to grab an envelope.  No wonder they didn’t make the Hours of Operation, they wasted 4-6 hours just on driving!  Hilariously odd.

South Africa was beautiful though.  TARUS needs to go there soon. 

This leg was modeled after the first leg of TAR Israel’s HaMerotz LaMillion.  It’s good to see they’re not just patterning TARA. 

Overall, a good leg, though not as full as the first three.  Still, a good season so far though.


PIT STOP
Macau

CASH
A$216

CONNECTING CITIES
Bangkok, Thailand

Johannesburg, South Africa

ROUTE MARKERS
Valley of Desolation, Camdeboo National Park
Graaf-Reinet, South Africa

DETOUR
Kragga Kamma Game Park
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

ROAD BLOCK
Bloukarans Bridge
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

ROUTE MARKERS
Nomathamsanqa, South Africa
Macau

PIT STOP
Addo Elephant National Park
Port Elizabeth, South Africa



DEPATURE
Somewhere in Macau

Richard & Joey 9:52am
Alana & Mel 1:00pm
Tyler & Nathan 1:00pm
Dave & Kelly 1:31pm
Matt & Tom 1:34pm
Jeff & Luke 136pm
Chris & Anastasia 1:37pm
Sam & Renae 1:38pm
Mo & Mos 6:31pm



SMASH




BASH

>



>

> or < indicates team switched Detours.



Who did the Road Block?
Who’s ready to take the plunge?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

2 Tyler Nathan 2
1 Anastasia Chris 3
2 Matt Tom 2
2 Jeff Luke 2
2 Dave Kelly 2
3 Sam Renae 1
0 Alana Mel 4
1 Mo Mos 3
1 Joey Richard 2

1 Tracy Anne-Marie 2
2 Ryot Liberty 0



PIT STOP
Addo Elephant National Park
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

1st Matt & Tom (+4)
2nd Tyler & Nathan (+1)
3rd Chris & Anastasia (+4)
4th Jeff & Luke (+2)
5th Sam & Renae (-3)
6th Dave & Kelly (-2)
7th Alana & Mel (-5)
8th Mo & Mos (+1)
Eliminated Richard & Joey (-8)




Jeff & Luke Jeff & Luke – Bonus points for not dragging their poor goat along the road. 
Joey & Richard Joey & Richard – Sad.  The head shaving ended up being merely an experience rather than the beginning of a great run for them.  They made up a lot of time after getting bogged down.  They probably would have survived the U-Turn if it wasn’t for the mud.  I really didn’t believe they were as bad as the other teams Alana & Mel made them out to be.  (They must not have seen any of TARUS.)  But it is hard to criticize their drive and determination.  They might get a little crazy and it helps to be quick and steady, but seeing enthusiastic Racers that aren’t tripping other teams up or being vindictive is okay in my book.  They also had a very classy elimination. 
Tyler & Nathan Tyler & Nathan – I wouldn’t say it was a smart use of the U-Turn by them since they were right behind the 1st place farmers and they might need that U-Turn later on in the Race.  Otherwise a strong leg from them.
Anastasia & Chris Anastasia & Chris – Another quiet leg from them on the dysfunction front.  But a great leg from them on the Race front.  They chose the right Detour, got themselves to the front and maintained it to the end of the leg.  If they can keep working together that way, they’ll do very well.  Though presence or lack of dysfunction doesn’t necessarily seem to affect their performance.
Matt & Tom Matt & Tom – They grabbed the leg at the beginning and never let go.  This is the kind of performance that signals an arrival in the Race (sort of like Sam & Renae in the first leg).  So if they keep it up, they can do very well. 
Alana & Mel Alana & Mel – Showing every other sound clip from them as rants on Richard & Joey made them seem more obsessed than TAR3’s “twin hunt” and TAR7’s Romber hate combined.  After four legs, they haven’t shown how strong a contender they can be and instead make it seem more likely they’ll be an early boot.  Mel doing all four Road Block so far though should make things hilariously interesting for them down the road.
Sam & Renae Sam & Renae – It is sad to see the models fading away rather quickly.  They are getting lost in the shuffle and aren’t the dominant team they showed in the premiere.  That should’ve signaled their arrival.  Instead, it was a guest starring role.  It would be great for them to pick it up in future legs, but they’re getting dangerously close to being in a position where one wrong turn could be the end for them.
Mo & Mos Mo & Mos – After four legs, they’re starting to overstay their welcome.  There aren’t as many laughs anymore and they are starting to resemble TAR13’s Dandrew too much for my liking. 
Dave & Kelly Dave & Kelly – Still not funny or cute or rootable.  They seem to be playing up to the camera, being cute and all that, but it is definitely not working.


Quotes from Episode 1.04

Mel: “I swear to God if you get us lost one more time, I’m going to throw you off this bridge.”










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