Another successful season of The Amazing Race Australia is over. And like the first season of the Aussie adaptation, this year’s edition delivered.
Casting is Key The strongest aspect of TARAu1 was its excellent, diverse cast. Though seemingly born out of some familiar TAR team molds, each team was distinct and made their mark. The same can be said for TARAu2. Another well-casted bunch of teams.
From siblings and best friends to dysfunctional couples and parent & child, from nice guys and bullies to comic relief and competive, The Amazing Race Australia 2 definitely assembled a great mix of Racers. And it was thanks to those Racers that we got some good drama, unpredictable competition and colorful personalities.
Based on the last few seasons, TARUS needs to bring over the TARAu casting people. That’s two-for-two on casting for TARAu and there’s no reason to doubt they’ll be assembling another strong cast next year.
Location, Location… While TARAu didn’t have a standout location this season like they did last year with Israel, it did go to some unfamiliar or long-forgotten locations TARUS definitely didn’t consider for the upcoming TAR21 (trust me).
It was great to see TAR in the Philippines as well as full TAR legs in North America. TARAu had solid legs in Europe, Cuba and China.
There were plenty of familiar Road Blocks and Detours though, especially from TARA (of course) and TARUS (specifically TAR14’s China legs).
The one problem TARAu2 might have had that TARAu1 didn’t was the increasingly linear leg design, long been a problem for TARUS with producing lackluster legs.
But the linear legs were given a boost by the relatively good tasks and great team interactions. It also helps that TARAu has maintained their multiple-Route Marker leg structure that has teams going to numerous places during the legs as opposed to TARUS’ over-simplified, point A to point B legs.
Strong All Around TARAu introduced the Salvage Pass, an interesting power that unlike the Express Pass, affects more than just the winning team. I’d actually like to see TARUS incorporate it. Deciding to save a team from elimination in the first leg and then that team eventually outlasting you and making it to 5th Place? Craziness!
While it could be a bad logistics dream for TARUS and would bring up the question of “pre-determined non-elimination” legs (How would they make up for the non-eliminated team?), I think it would bring more drama than the Express Pass.
TARAu also brought over TAR Israel/HaMerotz LaMillion’s U-Turn voting. That would definitely bring drama, but I don’t know that TARUS would need that just yet.
Grant Bowler, returning as host, stepped up his game. He was much more animated and excitable this season. While his verbiage at the Mat could throw off some TAR fans, it added to the overall fresh feel of TARAu.
Neither TAR19 or TAR20 brought about the freshening up I had hoped for when it came to opening credits and on-screen graphics. After seeing TARAu’s graphics and excellent opening credits sequence, I expected TARUS to follow suit, especially for its 10th Anniversary or if not, its milestone 20th season.
I definitely hope TAR21 will bring the cosmetic sprucing up it needs. TARAu’s look and feel continues to be one of its strong suits.
Overall, The Amazing Race Australia 2 followed up its inaugural season’s successes and seems to have started a legitimate franchise in Australia. Seven has already ordered season 3. And at the very least, TARAu3 will be another great bridge between the mothership’s seasons next Summer.
My Final Subjective Team Rankings
Sarah & James - Hilarious and awesome. Sarah and her hunners are definitely two of the best characters to come from TARAu or any TAR yet. She may look like some Botoxed-cougar with boobs and tight clothes, but she was a strong and fierce competitor. She was focused on the Race and often would need to push James to get into the Race as well. That competitive fire was definitely lacking from other teams. Couple that with the typical dysfunctional couple entertainment, you’ve got a winner!
Paul & Steve – Paul might just be the most interesting character on TARAu yet. A highly competitive, very confident alpha male who showed both strong performances and baffling stumbles. He may not have done anything directly to other teams, but his loud, confident personality would definitely be something that could rub others the wrong way, especially if you’re winning every leg. Steve was the calmer, more normal half of the team. And together, they worked solidly for most of the Race. But Paul knowing exactly who and what he was eased any ill-will one might have toward him.
Lucy & Emilia – Their epic escapes from elimination were epic. They had luck on their side and they enjoyed the Race and each other. Plus, they were hilarious the entire time. Though I would’ve loved to have seen actually step it up during the Race, they were enjoyable and fun.
Sticky & Sam – They seemed to be setting themselves up for either a dominant run or a huge fall. Too bad it was the latter. Sticky definitely proved a lot in spite of only having one arm, but their surprising elimination showed the Race is leg to leg and one misstep could be fatal. Good guys that just couldn’t get themselves out of a hole.
Tarryn & Ross – They had a very promising start to the Race, but when they were eliminated, their weaknesses came bubbling to the top. A lack of drive and focus was sad to see from a team that started off so well.
Shane & Andrew – They had a rough go at it for most of the Race. They fully earned their “bumbling cops” title, but their steadiness and having other teams drop like flies helped propel them to the final leg that was anyone’s for the taking. And they took it. Nice guys who I would’ve liked to see more competitiveness from earlier. Plus how could you not like them for their kangaroo souvenirs?
Sue & Teresa – The aura spray may have made them seem like a gimmick at first, but they showed some makings of a solid team. Though they needed more sense of urgency, they Raced relatively well and could’ve made it further had it not been for that Road Block.
Michelle & Jo – Probably the most consistent team this Race. But even though they were strong most of the time, they also had some huge bumps along the way. And their strange fixation on Paul turned into a Rachel vs Vanessa redux (TAR20) especially in the final leg when it appears their frustration exploded. Still, they had ups and downs, but they definitely deserved their spot in the final.
Adam & Dane – The teams were half-right in the final leg. Adam & Dane were indeed unlucky. But selling their stuff and not knowing the Race rules was their own doing. Instead of being an alpha-male team that went far, they ended up being first boot fodder.
Donna & Kym – Their last leg was painful to watch. To see a team just give up like that was both sad and very annoying. And their own grudge against Paul just made them seem petty and childish.
Joseph & Grace – Grace seemed to be strong and competitive at the start of the Race. Boy was I wrong. Though she deserves kudos for not giving up in their final leg, her self-imposed weakness and unnecessary bullying of other teams plus her self-righteous proclamations of who should and shouldn’t make it to the end just made her and Joseph the legitimate villains of the Race. And not in a love to hate kind of way either.
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Teams are transported to Guilin, China where they start the Final Leg. Michelle & Jo and Paul & Steve head to the Lijian River where they must search amongst traditional fishermen (and cormorants!) for their next clue by asking them in Mandarin. HOURS OF OPERATION! They wait for the location to open at 8:30 and they dress up before heading out onto the River in rafts. The Twins go one way and the guys go another. Paul & Steve ask the fisherman, but only receive fish. It’s Michelle & Jo who get it on their first try.
They open their clue and find the Detour.
For this Detour, teams have to head a Kindergarten school in Yongshua. In Teach, teams choose a young student whom they’ll teach ten Australian slang words to. The student must memorize the words and pass the quiz for the teams to get the next clue.
In Learn, the teams will have to learn the same ten words in Mandarin from a young student. The teams must memorize the words and then pass their own quiz to receive the next clue.
While the Cops finally leave the Pit Start, Michelle & Jo hop in a taxi. Paul & Steve find the correct fisherman and head off to find the school, but people point them in the right direction and they assume the school is within walking distance. It is not.
Shane & Andrew are on the River while Michelle & Jo are now lost. Paul & Steve come across more locals who tell them the school is one and a half hour away by bike. They decide to just keep walking instead of going back and they meet a friendly dog who guides them on their way.
Michelle & Jo finally arrive at the school and choose a cute little girl to teach them the words. They go in for the quiz, but don’t remember the Mandarin for Man and Woman. They choose a different cute little girl and get the clue on their 2nd try.
After the Detour, teams must head to Bai Sha Market where they must sell 10 slicer gadgets for no less than 5 yuan to receive their next clue. They quickly sell their ten and excitedly read the next clue telling teams to fly to Brisbane, Australia. They go to the airport and find a flight leaving at 4:10pm they hope the guys won’t manage to catch.
Paul & Steve arrive at a hotel and get a taxi while Shane & Andrew arrive at the school. They decide to teach a cute little boy ten Aussie words. He says he’s ready, but then freezes at the quiz. They don’t want to switch kids since he was really nice, so they decide to just switch Detours and have the boy teach them instead.
The Cops finish immediately and give the little boy a snack and one of their kangaroo souvernirs. Just as they are leaving, Paul & Steve arrive and choose Learn. Steve has trouble remembering the Mandarin for Bathers, but they get it on their 2nd try.
Paul & Steve arrive at the Market just as Shane & Andrew are leaving again. The Cops head to the airport with only 20 minutes to get on the flight. Paul & Steve get to the airport with only six minutes to the flight. And all three teams get on the same plane through Guangzhou to Brisbane.
Teams arrive on Australian soil at 8:55am. While Shane & Andrew stop to get a map, the Twins and Paul & Steve run straight for the marked cars and open the next clue. Teams must drive themselves to Kangaroo Point at Captain Burke Park.
The Cops arrive at the Park just as the other two teams find the next clue. Teams must now drive to Boggo Road Gaol. Paul & Steve decide to continue following the Twins. But out of the Park, it’s a Left Turn Only back onto the bridge. They decide they have no choice but to go the opposite way they need to go. But Shane & Andrew decide to safely make a U-Turn and are now in the lead heading to the jail.
The Cops arrive at the jail first and open the next clue. Team members will have to match their partners’ answers to five questions about other Racers. Michelle & Jo and Paul & Steve are right behind and all three teams are there.
Shane & Andrew finish the task first and head off to Archerfield Airport where they must catch one of three charter flights to Fraser Island. While waiting, Jo explodes at quiet Paul and tells him how much she hates him.
Some of the teams, for some reason, don’t know how to read “Which team would LIE TO YOU?” (Instead reading it as “Which team would you lie to?”). But Paul & Steve finish next. Paul wishes Jo the best, but she doesn’t want it. The Twins stay close behind.
Shane & Andrew land on the beach at Fraser Island they drive along to Lake McKenzie where they find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will have to answer five questions in the water about the Race. They must answer the questions by placing color-coded rings corresponding to A, B or C around each respective cluebox.
Andrew heads out first and finishes a little after Paul begins. Shane & Andrew head off with the clue telling them to run down the beach to a marked area where they must dig up a treasure chest containing their prize money. They must carry the chest to the Finish Line on the other side of the Lake.
Michelle starts the Road Block as the Cops start digging. Paul is struggling, allowing Michelle to pass him. The Cops finally dig up the treasure chest and they head to the other side of the Lake to the Finish Line where they stroll onto the Mat. Grant congratulates them, makes it official and hands them the key to the treasure chest. Shane & Andrew jump in the water to celebrate.
While both Paul & Steve and Michelle & Jo are digging for the treasure, the Twins start blowing up at Paul again. Steve finds the treasure chest. Paul encourages the girls and he and Steve head to the Finish Line.
“I just didn’t want the boys to beat us.”
Grant officially checks Paul & Steve in as the 2nd place team. Steve compliments the other teams and wants to have a beer with them. Paul says he respects them all, even if they think he’s the “most unfriendliest, standoff guy.” It was his pleasure to Race with and meet them all. He cries saying how proud he is of having Raced with integrity and honor.
The twins finally arrive with their chest and are officially 3rd. The teams all hug and The Amazing Race Australia 2 is done.
Episode Thoughts An interesting final leg! I don’t know about splitting it between China and Australia though. TARUS stopped doing that a while ago and having the final leg all in one city was much better. The tasks in Guilin could’ve been a leg on its own. Actually, it had more tasks and Route Markers than a typical TARUS leg. (Heh.)
But splitting the final leg between two countries could have disastrous with the possibility of one or even two teams getting left behind with the other getting hours headstart in the Final Destination City. It’s that logistics problem that prompted TARUS to stop doing that.
Yay for cormorants! That task was fun and having the teams receive fish instead of a clue was amusing. Also, having children part of the Race is always awesome, especially if it’s teams interacting with them. That was a fun Detour. Selling things to the locals is definitely a tried and true TAR staple and allows more interaction with the local culture.
Over in Brisbane, I don’t know about that “Match what your partner is thinking” challenge. It wasn’t that exciting when it was used on TARA. And of course, it was the infamous challenge that single-handedly ruined TAR All-Stars. The final memory Road Block was great to see too. Adapted from TARA3, but this one had a much more beautiful setting than the infinity pool of the Marina Bay Sands.
The digging up of a treasure chest is also a TARA Switchback. But I did like how the final leg had a lot of different tasks. It was definitely a full leg.
The episode, in turn, was exciting and you really didn’t know who would win until the Cops finished the Final Road Block. Even then, the other two could’ve caught up. So I’d say it was one of the more exciting TAR finales in recent memory.
PIT STOP The Forbidden City Beijing, China
PIT START Guilin, China
ROUTE MARKER Lijian River Guilin
DETOUR Kindergarten School Yangshuo, Guilin
ROUTE MARKER Bai Sha Market Guilin
CONNECTING CITIES Guangzhou, China
DESTINATION CITY Brisbane, Australia
ROUTE MARKER Kangaroo Point, Captain Burke Park Brisbane
Boggo Road Gaol Brisbane
Archerfield Airport to 75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island
ROAD BLOCK Lake McKenzie Fraser Island, Australia
FINISH LINE Lake McKenzie Fraser Island, Australia
DEPARTURE Guilin, China
Michelle & Jo 5:07am Paul & Steve 5:12am Shane & Andrew 8:47am
> or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? Who has total recall? In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
FINISH LINE Lake McKenzie Fraser Island, Australia
1st Shane & Andrew +2 2nd Paul & Steve = 3rd Michelle & Jo -2
Paul & Steve – It was a tense leg for them. They almost got left behind in China and Paul, despite what he says, faltered at the final Road Block. And considering he’s handled thinking challenges very well in the past, you can’t deny that he definitely underperformed there. They could’ve possibly caught up if he breezed through that task.
Shane & Andrew – They made the one move that won them the $250,000. Making a U-Turn on the bridge. That gave them just the right amount of time to get ahead and stay ahead. And they definitely worked hard to maintain their lead. TAR is leg to leg and they had an excellent leg. Half the battle was getting to the final leg, the other half being an excellent performance in the final leg. And they did both.
Michelle & Jo – Jo exploding at Paul at the jail was so odd. I guess the pressure of the final leg definitely got to her, but it was definitely out of nowhere. Though we’ve seen big outbursts from the Twins before. It was an okay leg for them otherwise and it all came down to just being faster than the others.
Quotes from Episode 2.12
Paul: “I’m sorry my looks, my facial expressions offend you.”
The Final Three go back to school and go to the market before flying home to Brisbane. It’s all about using their brains in the final leg. Which team will dig up a quarter of a million dollars and which teams will get left behind in the sand on The Amazing Race Australia 2 grand finale?
All four teams hop on a charter bus to Calgary Airport where they buy tickets for the same flight to Beijing, China. Once there, they jump into taxis. Paul & Steve get out of their first taxi when the driver tells them it’ll be 700 yuan for the trip and take another, much cheaper taxi. Joseph & Grace aren’t so lucky. The driver tells them 600 yuan, which is basically all the money they have left. They end up having to pay 500 yuan!
Teams arrive at the Ghost Street Food District where they find the Detour.
For both Detours, teams walk into the Liang An Yi Jia Restaurant. In Waiter, teams must listen to the orders of a table of eight, in Mandarin, and correctly pronounce them to the chef who’ll then give them the prepared dish to serve. Once all the customers have their orders, they’d receive their next clue. In Wheel, teams sit in front of a wheel labeled with Chinese delicacies. Taking turns, each team member spins the wheel to determine which dish the other team member would have to eat. After each team member has eaten two dishes, they’d receive their next clue.
Joseph & Grace first choose Wheel, but when Grace finds out she has to eat a fried starfish, she is adamant about switching to Waiter, joining Michelle & Jo. Meanwhile, Paul & Steve and Shane & Andrew feast on scorpions, cochroaches and testicle soup.
Michelle & Jo and Paul & Steve finish the Detour first and they head off to the next Route Marker at Wuzhisheng Foot Reflection Health Center where they must receive a traditional Chinese foot massage for a continuous 10 minutes each. The twins arrive there first and are shocked when they find out exactly how a Chinese foot massage feels. Paul & Steve get lost.
Despite having no money and realizing from Shane & Andrew just how ripped off they were, Joseph & Grace hop in a taxi with almost no money.
Shane & Andrew arrive at the Health Center 2nd and get the massage right next to the twins. Joseph & Grace arrive 2nd and Grace cannot believe what is happening, so much, that she pulls her foot away and has to start over.
Michelle & Jo finish first and get the next clue telling teams to head to Marco Polo Bridge where they must accurately count all the lions on the statues along the bridge to receive their next clue.
The cops leave 2nd and Paul & Steve arrive just as Joseph & Grace finish. The siblings only have 75 yuen left. And they have almost enough when the taxi driver lets them off at Marco Polo… Hotel. The concierge tells them the Bridge is almost an hour away by taxi. They decide to just walk since they can’t ask for money when no one speaks English.
HOURS OF OPERATION! The twins, the cops and Paul & Steve wait until the bridge opens at 7:30am before they can start counting. Michelle & Jo see Shane & Andrew have only counted the lions on one side of the bridge, so they do the same. They submit their answers and of course, they are wrong. They both go a second time and are still wrong. Paul & Steve, on their first try and after carefully counting, are given the next clue.
Teams must now head to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China to complete the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams have to figure out how to pass through 9 rows of warriors to reach a clue at the top of the steps. Only one warrior in each row would let them pass. If they choose the wrong warrior, they’d get a strike and every three strikes, they must start over.
Paul starts first, but gets it wrong twice before Jo arrives. Jo manages to get to the last row with one strike left, but doesn’t get it and has to head back down. Meanwhile, Shane & Andrew’s cab driver is lost and Joseph & Grace just finish counting, have hopped into a taxi to the Great Wall, but worry about how to pay their driver once they get there.
Paul finally arrives at the clue at the top of the steps, but Jo is close behind. It’s a taxi race to the Pit Stop at the Forbidden City, but it’s Michelle & Jo who manage to pull ahead thanks to their driver. They officially step on the Mat first and win $10,000. Paul & Steve take 2nd and are both in the final leg.
Joseph & Grace arrive at the Great Wall, but it’s the wrong section of it and there are no people there, like they had expected, which means no tourists to beg money from. But even if they had gone to the right place, Shane & Andrew were too far ahead and they officially see Grant as Team #3.
Already dark, Grant goes out to Joseph & Grace who are still in their taxi. He tells them they are so far out of the way, they’ve crossed into Inner Mongolia. And it doesn’t matter, since they are last and are eliminated.
Episode Thoughts Some very familiar tasks this leg. The Waiter side of the Detour was a watered down version of a TAR14 Detour. On TAR14, teams had to memorize all the orders, then recite them to the chef in one go. They would then have to remember who ordered what after the dishes had been cooked. So for the Aussies, the Detour was much easier and probably took a lot less time.
The infamous Chinese foot massage from the same TAR14 leg shows up as well and it was just as funny here as it was back then. The counting task at the bridge, definitely familiar too.
The Road Block at the Great Wall (which was great to see on TAR!) was derived from a TARA task with basically the same mechanics and I liked it back then too. It was basically a memory task and after a pretty long, it could’ve been tough.
Joseph & Grace’s leg was very interesting. Had there not been an Hours of Operation at the bridge, they would’ve probably been eliminated before sunrise. Come to think of it, this was a pretty long leg. Definitely not a leg you’d see on TARUS. (Unfortunately.)
1st Michelle & Jo +2 2nd Paul & Steve +2 3rd Shane & Andrew -2 Eliminated Joseph & Grace -2
Paul & Steve – A much better leg for them than the last one. Love or hate Paul, he’s definitely a character and he isn’t even one of the most outrageous, over the top characters to show up on TAR either. His stonefaced reaction to the massage was oddly hilarious. Plus, they managed to show that they do have brains as well, again doing well with a mental task (at the bridge). Their spot in the final leg was never really in doubt, barring a huge mistake. But they’ve shown that they’re vulnerable, so a win isn’t as certain.
Michelle & Jo – They’ve definitely been consistent Racers. Not exactly dominant, though they had flashes of dominant performances throughout the Race, but strong and consistent. They definitely have a shot at the win, though their focus on Paul is a little worrisome and a little creepy even. lol
Shane & Andrew – Honestly, I didn’t expect to see them in the final leg, and while they haven’t really shed the “bumbling cops” title just yet, they did enough with a little bit of luck as well to make it into the top 3. I think with this top 3, anything can happen. So the “bumbling cops” are definitely not out of the running.
Joseph & Grace – I have to give them kudos for not giving up. If they did indeed walk all that way, all night, then that’s huge. Compare that to Kym & Donna who decided to just fall asleep when they ran out of money. Still, Grace’s attitude about everything else was exactly what she was railing about against Paul and James & Sarah. It was pretty unbelievable. And while she didn’t give up here, she wasn’t necessarily focused or gung ho about everything either.
Quotes from Episode 2.11
Michelle: “Get away from me woman!”
Steve: “You’re such a poo face!”
Jo: “You’re mean. You have a smiley face on front.”
Teams hop onto one of two, 14 hour bus rides to Banff where they must ride a mechanical bull for a combined 60 seconds to receive their next clue. However, teams can keep going and the one with the highest accumulated time will get a bonus prize.
Paul & Steve and Shane & Andrew are on the first charter bus leaving at 8am and they get to Wild Bill’s Saloon in Banff to start. The Cops are having a little easier time and are determined to win the bonus prize. The 2nd bus, leaving at 9am, manages to allow the other teams to catch up and the five teams take turns on the bull. With Paul & Steve giving up and not wanting to possibly injure themselves, the other teams make it a point to just beat their time.
Shane & Andrew win the bonus prize, a 30 minute head start at the next Route Marker, Junk Yards at Rundle Mountain, which opens at 8:30am.
The Cops head in at 8:30 (with the others having to wait until 9am) and they find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams must scale a 25m frozen waterfall to retrieve their next clue.
Shane goes and has no problem finishing. Later, Paul manages to pass Jo at the waterfall with Joseph right behind and Lucy struggling, but soldiering on.
Teams must drive to Lake Louise Ski Resort for the Detour.In Search, teams must use a avalanche rescue beacon to find a transmitter in a backpack in a marked area, dig it up and exchange it for their next clue. In Ski, teams must complete a slalom course.
The Cops choose Ski and finish. Paul & Steve choose Search, but have trouble finding anything. That allows Joseph & Grace to finish the Ski Detour 2nd. Paul & Steve decide to switch Detours and manage to catch up to Michelle & Jo. And Lucy & Emilia, though trailing behind, manage to do what Paul & Steve could not and finish the Search Detour.
Teams head to the next Route Marker where they will help lead a dogsled team around a 3km course until they find their next clue.
Teams must head to Chataeu Lake Louise where they must retrieve their next clue from the bottom of an ice sculpture using the tools provided (including a single high heeled shoe… a hunner perhaps?). The Cops maintain their lead and head to the Pit Stop at Banff Springs Hotel where they officially check-in 1st and claim a $10,000 prize.
While Joseph & Grace step on the Mat 2nd, Paul & Steve and Michelle & Jo get to the ice sculptures together. But Paul & Steve start hammering away at the huge Race flag part of the ice sculpture, likely because they chose one of the sculptures (probably the Cops’) that was already missing a clue. While they knock it over, Michelle & Jo chuckle and easily get their clue and head off to finish 3rd.
Steve finally sees the other sculptures down the way and they laugh at their idiocy, but that can’t keep them from escaping elimination by finishing 4th.
Not so lucky though are Lucy & Emilia as elimination finally catches up to them as they finish in last.
Episode Thoughts Well, this three week break was pretty long eh? Or should I say, “pretty long, yeah?” I don’t know about this three night finale event, they might as well have just aired during the Olympics or, I don’t know what programming Seven has in the next two weeks, but oh well.
Anyway, another solid episode. I do like how they made the equalizer more interesting. Since they had to wait until morning for the Road Block to open, having them take part in a little competition for an extra prize added a little fun and also could’ve even made some of the teams tired, affecting their Racing for the next day, depending on how long they stayed at the saloon.
The Road Block was typical enough and the Detour was transplanted from a New Zealand leg in TARA3, but the extra Route Markers added more variety and excitement.
PIT STOP Crab Park Vancouver, Canada
ROUTE MARKER Wild Bill’s Saloon Banff, Canada
ROAD BLOCK Junk Yards at Rundle Mountain Banff
DETOUR Lake Louise Ski Resort Banff
ROUTE MARKER Chataeu Lake Louise Banff
Great Divide Trail Banff
PIT STOP Banff Springs Hotel Banff, Canada
DEPARTURE Crab Park Vancouver
Paul & Steve 10:11pm Shane & Andrew 11:41pm Michelle & Jo 11:58pm Joseph & Grace 1:48am Lucy & Emilia 1:51am
> or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? Who’s climbing the walls? In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
5Shane Andrew 3 4Paul Steve 3 4 Michelle Jo4 4Joseph Grace 4 3Lucy Emilia 5
1st Shane & Andrew +1 2nd Joseph & Grace +2 3rd Michelle & Jo = 4th Paul & Steve -3 Eliminated Lucy & Emilia =
Paul & Steve – Well, that was a horrible leg for them, highlighted (or low-lighted) by them hammering away at nothing at the ice task. It’s pretty bad when Michelle & Jo finish even before they figure out what they’re doing wrong. Their Detour misstep wouldn’t have been so bad had Lucy & Emilia not actually done what Paul & Steve failed to do. This isn’t the kind of performance they want heading into the final legs.
Lucy & Emilia – Elimination finally caught up with them. It was only a matter of time. No matter how much fun they were having, as other teams went before them, they needed to step it up, but they seemed to be stuck in cruise control the entire Race. Too bad, because they were definitely a fun team to watch even if their Racing wasn’t up to snuff.
Michelle & Jo – They’re definitely gliding along to the final leg. Their obsession with Paul is starting to get creepy and unnecessary though. But if that’s their main motivation, then hey, why mess with success right?>
Shane & Andrew – They are starting to step it up and that is a good thing. They definitely lived up to the bumbling cops title early in the Race, but they are definitely stepping it up when they need to. Now’s not the time to be fumbling through the Race. And they are certainly in a strong position to make it to the end.
Joseph & Grace – Are they still in the Race?
Quotes from Episode 2.10
Steve: “I do my riding better in the bedroom.” Lucy & Emila: *groan* “Ewe.” Paul: “And you last the same amount of time, 15 seconds.”
All teams are on the same flight to Vancouver, Canada. Once in Vancouver, teams head to Stanley Park where they would look for a totem pole, take part in a First Nation ritual and receive their next clue from the chief.
Teams have to collect two paddles and make their way on foot to the Vancouver Rowing Club. They find an Hours of Operation and they all go to a hotel for the night. All the teams but one are at the Rowing Club when it opens at 8:30am. James & Sarah are running late leaving the hotel.
Meanwhile, the other teams open the next clue, revealing a Fast Forward. Paul & Steve and Shane & Andrew run off to get a taxi to head to the Art Studio for the Fast Forward. But when Paul & Steve get a taxi first, Shane & Andrew decide to just go back and do the task.
At the harbor, teams must paddle themselves across the harbor to a dock where they must decipher a nautical phrase using maritime flags on a yacht. They must figure out that the flags across the way are arranged in alphabetical order, according to the corresponding flag.
Michelle & Jo figure out the flag key first while Joseph & Grace head to a nearby information center to get a print out. Just arriving are James & Sarah who, while on their way here, remember that they did not pay their hotel before leaving. So before going out on the kayaks, they decide to go back and settle their bill. But they worry about not having money for the taxi.
James & Sarah get to the hotel and the guy gives them a big discount as well as prints out a key to the flags for them too. Across town, Paul & Steve arrive at the art studio to open the Fast Forward clue.
For this Fast Forward, the only one of the Race, Paul & Steve must pose nude for an art class who will draw them. Once the students are done, they can go directly to the Pit Stop. They have no problem getting naked and no problem heading to Grant at the Pit Stop at Crab Park where they officially win their 5th leg in a row and $10,000.
Back at the harbor, Michelle & Jo finish deciphering the message: “Three sheets to the wind, splice the mainbrace, weigh anchor and set sail.” And they are given the next clue, the Detour.
In this Detour, teams will get to do one of two traditional skills performed by Canadian lumberjacks.
In Toss, teams must throw an axe at a log target 6 meters away. Once teams have landed 10 axes, they will be given their next clue.
In Tumble, teams must balance themselves on a rolling log and rotate the log 10 times to be given their next clue.
As teams head to the Detour, James & Sarah catch up to Lucy & Emilia. They start off fast with the flags, but they soon get frustrated. Lucy & Emilia finish and James & Sarah almost get the message, missing only a “B” from “brace.”
Michelle & Jo decide on the Tumble Detour, but Shane & Andrew choose Toss, allowing them to get ahead. Joseph & Grace and James & Sarah also choose Toss, while Lucy & Emilia have “fun” with Tumble.
James & Sarah return to their nice taxi driver after being able to ask a Chinese couple for 5 bucks.
After the Detour, teams head to the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will ride on top of a cable car to the peak of Grouse Mountain while collecting three flags along the way. If they fail to collect a flag, they will have to return to the bottom and try again.
Shane & Andrew and Michelle & Jo maintain their leads finishing the Road Block and they head to Grant to check-in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Grace fails her first two attempts, but gets it on the third to avoid getting slapped with a four hour penalty. Emilia gets it on her 2nd go. James & Sarah’s nice taxi driver accepts their $25 payment for their $75 cab ride and they head up to the cable car.
Joseph & Grace have money issues of their own and have to go around the resort to beg for money as well. Meanwhile, Lucy & Emilia manage to hop into James & Sarah’s nice taxi.
Joseph & Grace step on the Mat in 4th. We are led to believe James & Sarah arrive at the Pit Stop first, but their driver won’t accept their $4 worth of money. Lucy & Emilia then arrive and they check-in 5th.
James & Sarah see a police officer nearby who calls the owner of the cab and gets them out of their fare by promising the owner a case of Foster’s.
But it’s too late as James & Sarah step on the Mat in last and are eliminated.
How refreshing to have TAR in Canada. First time since TAR8 and it was a great leg. That first nautical flags task was definitely familiar. But the others were awesome. First off, that Fast Forward!? First unpixeled nudity on any edition of TAR ever? Wow. Were they really nude? That’s pretty daring for both Paul & Steve and TAR itself.
The Detour was great to show off Canada’s stunning forests. I wish we got to see more, but the Road Block and beautiful view it provided helped make up for it.
Very interesting to see so many teams with money troubles on TARAu. They must not know how to manage the cash. Or TARUS has been a lot more generous with how much money they give.
TARAu’s tricky editing has been very obvious every week, but none more than this week’s. I think it was more than obvious James & Sarah were, unfortunately, last.
Also, Grant’s been doing it the whole Race, but his “You are the X team to arrive” or his “pre-determined elimination leg” spiels definitely throw me off. We’ve come to expect the “X team to arrive” to automatically mean that team has incurred a penalty. And the “pre-determined elimination leg” just sounds odd.
Anyway, it’s going to be a three week wait. But, it appears we’re going to get a three-night finale. Woah. That’s a lot of TAR, even for the most diehard TAR fans I think. Interesting decision by 7.
The Capitol Building
Stanley Park Vancouver
Vancouver Rowing Club Vancouver
Pine Forest Vancouver
Grouse Mountain Vancouver
Crab Park Vancouver
The Capitol Building
Paul & Steve 12:08am
Shane & Andrew 12:23am
Michelle & Jo 12:35am
James & Sarah 2:01am
Lucy & Emilia 2:17am
Joseph & Grace 3:22am
Paul & Steve took the Fast Forward.
> or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? Who can reach for the sky? In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
3 Paul Steve 3 4Shane Andrew 3 4Michelle Jo 3 3 Joseph Grace4 2 Lucy Emilia5 4Sarah James 3
Vancouver, Canada1st Paul & Steve = 2nd Shane & Andrew = 3rd Michelle & Jo = 4th Joseph & Grace +2 5th Lucy & Emilia = Eliminated James & Sarah -2
Sarah & James – How sad for them to go. Worst elimination of the season so far. Both, especially Sarah, were competitive and smart and avoided any drama with other teams. Sure they had their own drama with each other, but they were able to get the tasks done (most of the time at least). It sucks they had to go before Joseph & Grace. And it sucks even more to learn they’ve broken up since the show. But, they were one of those few teams who both entertain and Race hard.
Paul & Steve – Well, it’s kind of annoying that other teams can’t even get in front of Paul & Steve to get a Fast Forward. Their domination is also getting kind of boring considering the leg design and the lack of competition from other teams have helped propel them to #1 for five legs. They certainly aren’t nasty people who concentrate more on other teams (Grace!), but they were much more fun when they were actually putting more effort into their Race instead of just skating by.
Lucy & Emilia – Another week, another leg with them saved by another team doing just that much worse than them. Though, Emilia stepped up a lot this leg in both the Detour and Road Block. They just need to do that more consistently and help push themselves out of the bottom.
Michelle & Jo – Staying safe and consistent. And unless they royally mess up or get some bad luck like Sticky & Sam, they should have their spot in the finals secured.
Shane & Andrew – A surprisingly strong leg for them. They got themselves to the top and stay there even after wasting some time trying to go for the Fast Forward. I guess they are peaking at the right time. If they keep it up, they might actually have a shot.
Joseph & Grace – It is hilarious to watch them, or just Grace, talk about who does and doesn’t deserve to be in the final leg. She should look in the mirror, eh?
Quotes from Episode 2.09
Paul: “I’m used to being pretty hot, but right now I’m extra hot.”
Joseph: “You can’t throw an axe?” Grace: “Joey, I can’t even throw a tennis ball.”
Lucy: “I can’t even walk straight. Why am I trying to ride a log on icy water?”
Sarah: “I’ve thrown plenty of things before, plates, I’ve thrown shoes. But never an axe, which is probably a good thing.” James: “Probably.”
Paul & Steve and Michelle & Jo open the clue handed to them by Grant and find teams must make their way to Maria Hemingway to sign up for one of seven charter boats departing at four different times. They both sign-up for the first boats leaving at 8am.
A local man helps Shane & Andrew’s car get started and are able to check-in at the Pit Stop in 3rd. James & Sarah manage to catch up and pass Lucy & Emilia at the Tropicana allowing them to step on the Mat 4th with the sisters in 5th.
Joseph & Grace arrive at the Mat, but Grant says he can’t check them in. They are issued a 2-hour penalty for their pulling James & Sarah’s stuff out of the taxi in Paris. They wait off to the side as Sticky & Sam, who had caught up to them at the Tropicana, get back on track after getting lost again to officially check-in 6th.
Next morning, Paul & Steve and Michelle & Jo head out on the water with the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will have to use a nautical chart, compass and provided coordinates to locate “the old fisherman of the sea” who will give them their next clue. However, if they catch a fish on the way, they will automatically be handed the next clue without having to find the fisherman. If they fail to do either within the time limit, they’ll get a four hour penalty.
Steve seems comfortable, but Jo is struggling. The second pair, Shane & Andrew and James & Sarah set off from the marina just as Steve finds the fisherman. Jo decides to just follow their boat and they both get the next clue, the Detour.
This Detour, celebrates two of Cuba’s historic icons and teams must head to Old Havana. In Che Puzzle, teams head to the Plaza de la Catedral where they must put together a 90-piece puzzle of the iconic image of Che Guevara. In Daiquiri Guzzle, teams head to the El Floridita Bar, which Ernest Hemingway frequented, where they’ll make six daiquiris each to deliver using one hand to Hemingway’s old room at the Hotel Ambos Mundos.
Back in the water, James is having trouble pinpointing the fisherman’s location while Shane decides to start fishing early and catches one. Lucy & Emilia set off as the only team departing at 9am.
Paul & Steve initially decide to go for the puzzle, but can’t find the location so they head over to the daiquiris instead. Having trouble with their new, more modern car, Michelle & Jo and run into Shane & Andrew and they decide to work together to find the Plaza.
Paul & Steve finish making the drinks and start walking down the street when they run into a festival of people trying to mess with them. Meanwhile, at the Plaza, Michelle & Jo get locals to help them put the puzzle together. On the water, James’ split second decision helps him and Sarah get the clue just as their time was running out. Lucy & Emilia are close behind and both teams catch up at the Plaza.
Paul & Steve finish the Detour and get the next clue telling teams to drive to Australia, a town southeast of Havana, and find a crocodile farm.
At the Detour, Grace, who insisted on doing the daiquiris, drops her glasses and they have to switch and are now in last.
At the crocodile farm, teams must fill a wheelbarrow with fish and feed the crocodiles in a pit before having to lasso one to receive their next clue. Paul & Steve breeze through the task. Teams can now make their way to the Pit Stop by walking to boats and taking them across the Laguna del Tesoro Nature Reserve to the Mat near the bungalows.
Paul & Steve claim another leg win and a trip to Queensland. Shane & Andrew jump up to officially check-in 2nd while Michelle & Jo take 3rd. James & Sarah complete their comeback by finishing 4th. Lucy & Emilia check-in 5th.
Sticky & Sam, who finish the Detour before Joseph & Grace, again get lost heading to Australia. That allows the siblings to arrive at the crocodile farm before them and head to the Pit Stop to officially finish 6th.
After checking-in, James & Sarah and Joseph & Grace run into each other. Joseph & Grace apologize for stealing their cab in Paris and Grace gives them a hug. Sarah can believe Joseph’s sincerity, but she says Grace is fake. Joseph offers to make it up to them by helping in the future. Afterwards, Grace says she has no intention of making it up to them at all.
Darkness falls and Sticky & Sam arrive at the Mat and Grant tells them they are officially eliminated from the Race.
Episode Thoughts An interesting leg. The staggered departure times for the boats at the Road Block pretty much determined the final placements with almost no change from the previous/first part of the leg.
The tasks themselves were good, but it would’ve been nice to see a little more of Cuba considering TARUS will likely never go there in the future.
Yay for Joseph & Grace’s penalty, though it would’ve been better if it was given to them at the real Pit Stop. Maybe it should have been considering this was one superleg?
Overall, a solid double-leg. I hope we see one on TAR21.
PIT STOP Hotel Nacional Havana, Cuba
ROAD BLOCK Marina Hemingway Havana
DETOUR Plaza de la Catedral Havana
El Floridita Bar Hotel Ambos Mundos Havana
ROUTE MARKER Crocodile Farm Australia, Cuba
PIT STOP Hotel Villa Guama Laguna del Tesoro, Cuba
DEPARTURE Hotel Nacional Havana, Cuba
Paul & Steve Michelle & Jo Shane & Andrew James & Sarah Lucy & Emilia Sticky & Sam Joseph & Grace
> or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? Who’s feeling a little nautical? In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
3 Paul Steve3 3 Michelle Jo3 3Shane Andrew 3 3 Sarah James3 2 Lucy Emilia4 3 Sticky Sam3 3Joseph Grace 3
1TarrynRoss3 1DonnaKym1 2SueTeresa0 0AdamDane0
PIT STOP Hotel Nacional Havana, Cuba
1st Paul & Steve = 2nd Michelle & Jo = 3rd Shane & Andrew +3 4th James & Sarah +3 5th Lucy & Emilia = 6th Sticky & Sam -2 7th Joseph & Grace -4 Joseph & Grace arrived 6th, but were issued a 2-hour penalty.
Hotel Villa Guama Laguna del Tesoro, Cuba
1st Paul & Steve = 2nd Shane & Andrew +1 3rd Michelle & Jo -1 4th James & Sarah = 5th Lucy & Emilia = 6th Joseph & Grace +1 7th Sticky & Sam -1
Sarah & James – It was almost another disaster for them had James not made the right decision at the Road Block. Other than that, a solid leg for them. If I were them though, I wouldn’t trust Joseph & Grace at all.
Paul & Steve – Now that they’re dominating, they’re becoming a little less fun. Though the leg design has helped them a lot in maintaining their position at the top, it would be nice to see them have to step it up and not be complacent.
Lucy & Emilia – They’re holding steady just as other teams continue making fatal mistakes. They’ll need to step it up now though since it looks like even Shane & Andrew are doing just that. It’s time to get a little more serious.
Michelle & Jo – It’s good Jo realizes she’s got to step it up to keep up with Michelle. Michelle’s been doing a lot better on the Race then Jo has so far. But together, they’re still a strong team and unless they break down or make a huge mistake, they’ll be in the final leg.
Shane & Andrew – Almost surprising to see them in 2nd, but it is nice to see. They can use this momentum to step it up and make a run for the final leg.
Sticky & Sam – A tough leg continued for them. Cuba was not lucky for Sticky and Sam. They seemed out of their element too, it’s a wonder how they managed to get themselves lost heading to every single Route Marker. A shame they didn’t keep up their strong start.
Joseph & Grace – Thank goodness they were issued a penalty. And their “apology” to James & Sarah was laughable even though Joseph probably was more sincere than Grace who doesn’t care who she steps on and only wants to get her way no matter what.
Quotes from Episode 2.08
Sarah: “This Pit Stop hasn’t stopped. It’s a Pit Pause.” James: “It was a Pit Continue.” Jo: “I’m going to bar…” Michelle: “Over the edge, dickhead!” Sarah: “I know I always think I’m right, but if you don’t really prove me wrong, then I am right.”
Paul & Steve open up the first clue to find teams must fly to Paris, France. Both they and Michelle & Jo just make a flight getting them in at 4:25pm. Joseph & Grace, Sticky & Sam, Lucy & Emilia and Shane & Andrew hop on a flight getting them in at 5:55pm. That leaves James & Sarah on a flight getting them in at 9:25pm.
Paul & Steve and Michelle & Jo arrive in Paris and must head to the famous Le Cordon Bleu where they find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will have to bake a batch of soufflés and gain approval from Le Cordon Bleu’s director to get their next clue.
Steve and Michelle go to sign up for one of two classes, one at 9pm the other at 10pm, during which they’d start baking. The 2nd flight arrives and Lucy & Emilia and Joseph & Grace are the teams that sign up for the first class.
At 9pm, Steve, Michelle, Lucy and Grace head into the kitchen and follow a list of fifteen directions to begin making their soufflé. Steve gets his batch into and out of the oven first and they don’t look very fancy. He takes one of the soufflés to the director who points that out, but it’s tastes good, so he hands Steve the next clue.
Teams must now head to Rungis Market, the largest wholesale food market in the world covering over 230 hectares, where they must find a shop and a man named Jean Marie who’ll give them a 30 kg wheel of cheese. They must deliver the cheese, undamaged, to the Alléosse cheese shop in exchange for their next clue.
Paul & Steve head off with Lucy & Emilia close behind them. Michelle is the next to bring her soufflé to the director, but he tells her it’s undercooked. She goes back to the kitchen and has enough mixture left for two soufflés. This allows Joseph & Grace to get ahead in 3rd. Michelle’s next soufflé is given the thumbs up and they leave 4th.
Andrew is next and the director tells him his soufflé is #1 for the night as he and Shane leave next with Sticky & Sam close behind. Sarah quickly finishes as well and now all teams are heading to Rungis.
At the Marketplace, Michelle & Jo, Paul & Steve and Lucy & Emilia head to Jean-Marie’s cheese cellar and collect their cheese one after the other. Joseph & Grace beg their taxi driver to wait for them, but he doesn’t want to. They, Shane & Andrew and Sticky & Sam head down into the cheese cellar.
James & Sarah tell their driver to wait as they head inside and catch up to the others just as they are heading out to the taxis. With no taxi for them, Joseph & Grace decide to steal one of the ones waiting and it happens to be James and Sarah’s. They convince the driver to take them instead and they grab James & Sarah’s backpacks from the trunk and dump them out on the ground.
James & Sarah arrive just as Joseph & Grace are getting in. Sarah tries to fight for their taxi, but James stands by and tells her they need to just go. The taxi drives off and Sarah is upset James didn’t do anything to stop them. Grace says she wouldn’t have stolen Sticky & Sam or Shane & Andrew’s taxis, but since it was James & Sarah, she was more than happy to because she doesn’t like them. James & Sarah head to a pub where they can have someone call a taxi for them and they begin arguing.
At the cheese shop, the first three teams arrive and they get the next clue pointing them to Debilly Footbridge where they would look for a painter with their next clue.
Michelle & Jo find the painter first and they open the clue to find out teams must now fly to Havana, Cuba!
The sun is beginning to rise as Shane & Andrew enjoy a walking tour through Paris and Sticky & Sam and James & Sarah deliver their cheese. Those last four teams have a strangely difficult time getting to the bridge.
Paul & Steve, Michelle & Jo, Lucy & Emilia, Shane & Andrew, and Joseph & Grace make the first flight to Havana, arriving at 3:10pm. After telling them about Taxigate, James & Sarah and Sticky & Sam get on a flight arriving at 5:50pm.
Once in Havana, teams have to choose one of the classic cars parked outside the airport and drive themselves to the Tropicana Nightclub. Paul & Steve seem to have no trouble driving off, but the other teams aren’t even sure how to start their cars.
Michelle & Jo get some local guys to give them a push, while Lucy & Emilia switch cars. The teams drive into the night. Shane & Andrew don’t know how to open the trunk, but they open the hood instead and can’t close it again. It start rising up as they drive until it completely covers their view of the road. Joseph & Grace meanwhile get stuck in the middle of an intersection. Sticky & Sam are lost while James & Sarah stumble upon a taxi driver who will lead them to the Tropicana.
Paul & Steve get to the Tropicana and find the head showgirl who gives them the clue telling them to head to the Pit Stop, the Hotel Nacional. Michelle & Jo are close behind, but stall and need another pushstart. They also invite a man to ride with them to the hotel.
Paul & Steve arrive at the Mat and Grant tells them they’re the first team to arrive and they’ve won… “the right to keep racing.” He hands them the next clue and they’re off. Michelle & Jo arrive right after.
Back on the road, the other teams are in strife. Shane & Andrew get stuck in the middle of the road, while smoke starts billowing out of Joseph & Grace’s car. But probably in most strife was Lucy & Emilia, whose car stops right on the train tracks.
TO BE CONTINUED!
Episode Thoughts Wow! What an episode! This was a pretty exciting episode in spite of probably the worst leg design I’ve seen in a long time! Haha.
Again, I absolutely LOVE legs that take place at night. So that leg in Paris, plus the good tasks made for a great episode already. Great to see Paris on TAR again. Then the teams driving around, in classic cars! And getting stuck in ’em in the dark was awesome too.
Now the surprising flight to Cuba in the middle of the leg was suspicious and had it not been a TBC leg, would’ve been one of the worst decisions any TAR has ever made. But it being a double leg, having the trans-Atlantic flight when they had it was alright and actually kind of a good idea.
Going to Cuba itself is pretty cool and probably something TARUS would never do. So it was definitely refreshing. First Israel last year and Cuba this year, TARAu definitely has the advantage in going to new countries.
If it were TARUS going to Cuba and the Tropicana club, there would probably be some kind of I Love Lucy task which would be AMAZING. I would love that.
And finally, TAXIGATE. Now, I’m pretty iffy on taking another team’s taxi. And usually when teams try to do it, the driver ends up not wanting to anyway. But here, the fact that Joseph & Grace actually grabbed Joseph & Sarah’s stuff out of the trunk and dump all their crap on the ground was over the line. You can’t mess with other people’s belongings. The driver played a part too for actually accepting Joseph & Grace’s proposal, but Grace having no remorse over such dirty gameplay was hilariously ironic considering the way she’s been railing against Paul (who hasn’t done much of anything to her in the first place).
If I were Sarah, I’d have forced my way into the taxi and sat on Joseph & Grace to the cheese shop or until they decided to get out.
But great drama eh? The episode was full of laughs and high drama and I was an epic two-continent episode. Yay for TBC/double legs too.
PIT STOP Beyazit Square Istanbul, Turkey
DESTINATION CITY Paris, France
ROAD BLOCK Le Cordon Bleu Paris
ROUTE MARKER Rungis Market Paris
Debilly Footbridge Paris
DESTINATION CITY Havana, Cuba
ROUTE MARKER Tropicana Nightclub Havana
PIT STOP Hotel Nacional Havana, Cuba
DEPARTURE Beyazit Square Istanbul, Turkey
Paul & Steve 11:42am Michelle & Jo 11:48am Joseph & Grace 12:27pm Sticky & Sam 12:28pm Lucy & Emilia 1:36pm Shane & Andrew 1:38pm James & Sarah 4:20pm
> or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? Who’s a rising star? In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
3 Paul Steve2 2Lucy Emilia 3 2 Joseph Grace3 3Michelle Jo 2 2 Shane Andrew3 3 Sticky Sam2 3Sarah James 2
1TarrynRoss3 1DonnaKym1 2SueTeresa0 0AdamDane0
PIT STOP Hotel Nacional Havana, Cuba
1st Paul & Steve = 2nd Michelle & Jo = ~ Joseph & Grace ~ ~ Sticky & Sam ~ ~ Lucy & Emilia ~ ~ Shane & Andrew ~ ~ James & Sarah ~
Sarah & James – They’re my number one team right if only for Sarah. She’s awesome. Her fire and determination and not taking crap from other teams is great to see on the Race. Despite Taxigate, I think both her and James are very competitive and again, the fireworks between them is great fun to watch as well.
Paul & Steve – They’re finally getting in a groove and they’re not letting up. Even with the cross-Atlantic flight, they still maintained their place at the top. I think Paul’s bravado is backed up now. Though I hope they don’t win every leg. As we’ve seen in TAR20, that’s no fun. But I would like to see them in the final leg too.
Lucy & Emilia – They finally got ahead! It was about time they finally pulled themselves out of the bottom. This whole Race, they’ve been benefitting from other teams’ costly mistakes, but I think with less teams now, they’re starting to step it up, however little. And they’re still fun.
Michelle & Jo – They and Paul & Steve might be the teams to beat. They are still Racing very well even with moments of frustration. I can see them going on a streak like Paul & Steve, even though I don’t really like it when one or two teams dominate a Race.
Shane & Andrew – They were fun in Cuba. But back in Paris, they were wasting too much again trying to get from point A to point B. They need to tighten their game up and really start Racing.
Sticky & Sam – Probably the roughest leg for them so far. We still have to wait and see how they recover, but we’ve never really seen them in a situation like this before where they have to come from behind. Should be interesting to see how they deal with it.
Joseph & Grace – What is there to say? Grace said Paul was “so low… down to the floor” last week for accidentally bumping into her. But what she and Joseph did to James & Sarah was really the true TAR definition of “low.” That was poor sportsmanship and selfish… exactly what they’ve been saying about Paul who, let’s remember, has never stolen a taxi from another team or taunted another team and who’s only sin is being overconfident in himself (and being late to back it up.) TAR20 Vanessa, have been reincarnated as TARAu2 Grace? Do we even have to touch her comments about what good women are for?
Quotes from Episode 2.07
Grace: “If you have a wife and she can’t cook, then what else is she good for?”
Paul & Steve start out on the sixth leg of the Race and teams must head to the Hürrem Hamami, a 16th century Turkish bathhouse where they will have to wash and scrub each other with a bar of soap until it revealed their next clue.
They strip down and rub each other until they get next clue revealing the Detour. In Shine, teams head to a marked shoe shine stall at Yeni Camii where they must convince 10 locals to have their shoes shined for at least 4 Turkish lira each to receive their next clue. In Design, teams must find a marked carpet stall in the Egyptian Bazaar and choose a piece of fabric from an exotic Turkish pattern then find a perfect match among the full sized carpets for their next clue.
At the end of the clue, Paul & Steve find out there’s a Yield coming up. They run over to it and decide to Yield Michelle & Jo who are right behind them just to maintain their first place lead.
As Paul & Steve try to attract the locals, the rest of the teams catch up to Michelle & Jo at the bathouse. They stay ahead of the others, but run over to find their faces on the Yield.
As the sand runs out in their hourglass, Paul & Steve finish the Detour. Teams must now head to Rumeli Castle where they will encounter an Intersection. Two teams must mutually agree to work together until told otherwise starting here.
While Paul & Steve wait, Michelle & Jo have no trouble getting customers to line up to them. On the other hand, Grace’s surefire plan to flirt with the locals goes up in smoke. At the other Detour, Shane & Andrew and Sticky & Sam begin digging through the carpets. The coppers find Sticky & Sam’s carpet and hands it over to them. (!) Sticky & Sam bring the carpet to the judge and they are handed their next clue. But to repay the cops for basically doing the Detour for them, they return upstairs to help them out.
After spending what they say is half an hour or more helping, Shane & Andrew attempt with a carpet they think is the correct one, but it’s wrong so they decide to switch. Sticky & Sam, after the fact, say they would’ve stayed with them until they found it.
At the other side of the Detour, Lucy & Emilia’s flirtations work a little better than Grace’s as they have people lining up. Meanwhile, back at the Pit Stop (!), James & Sarah and Tarryn & Ross finally begin their leg. They get to the bathhouse together and laugh it up sliding around.
Across town at the Castle, Michelle & Jo arrive and decide to put the Yield aside and work with Paul & Steve as it would be to both their benefits to do so.
For their task during the Intersection, teams have to work together to break through a line of Turkish oil wrestlers to get to an antique lamp on a table.
The four of them change into skimpy outfits and rub each other (again!) with oil before trying to get past the wrestlers. In the scuffle, Michelle gets clotheslined by one of the wrestlers and falls to the floor, shaking in shock. She sucks it up and they exchange the lamp for the next clue.
Teams are now released from the Intersection and now must complete a Road Block.
For this Road Block, teams head to Darüzziyafe Restaurant where they would join Whirling Dervishes and take part in a Sufi meditation ritual that involves them spinning continuously for five minutes.
While Paul & Steve and Michelle & Jo head to the Road Block, Sticky & Sam and Joseph & Grace Intersect. Lucy & Emilia wait for Shane & Andrew, who give a little boy a key chain from Australia before heading off. Next at the shoe shine are James & Sarah and Ross & Tarryn who understand their battling to keep from being last.
Over at the Road Block, Steve and Jo dress in traditional robes before getting a lesson in the proper way to spin. They give it a go and Steve does well, but Jo can’t keep her balance, quickly becomes dizzy and collapses on her back. She now has to start over again, allowing Steve to finish and he and Paul to head to the Pit Stop, Beyazit Square.
They boys officially check-in first for the 2nd leg in a row and claim a $5000 computer package from Bing Lee. Michelle & Jo come running in to finish 2nd for the 2nd leg in a row as well.
At the shoe shine, Sarah attracts customers by giving them a bonus shoulder massage. But Ross & Tarryn finish before them… only to have to wait for them at the Intersection.
Joseph & Grace and Sticky & Sam arrive at the Pit Stop to officially finish 3rd and 4th respectively. Shane & Andrew’s bad taxi luck continues, allowing Lucy & Emilia to get ahead of them to the Road Block. That gives the sisters the opportunity to arrive at the Mat 5th with the cops officially finishing 6th.
It’s down to James & Sarah and Ross & Tarryn. From the castle, Ross & Tarryn leave first, but James & Sarah’s taxi driver manages to sneak past the father and daughter giving them that advantage at the Road Block.
James finishes before Ross and he and Sarah run to the Pit Stop to check-in 7th. That leaves Ross & Tarryn in last and eliminated.
Episode Thoughts Overall, it was a great episode. Both the odd, awkward, yet cultural excuses for gratuitous skin at the Turkish bath and the oil wrestling were amusing enough. The Detour, at least the shoe shine side of it, allowed teams to interact with the locals. And the Road Block was a great way for teams to immerse themselves in the local customs.
Despite those positives, the leg was completely linear, evidenced by the nearly exact same team placements from the last leg. It was actually thanks to the Intersection that the middle pair of teams managed to switch placements at all. Speaking of, it’s nice to see the Intersection again, though it’s risky putting it on a leg without an equalizer. And it was kind of unfair to put an Intersection on a leg after a non-elimination.
The unusual circumstance of the four hour penalty from last leg played a little into that as well, but looking at the departure times, it looks more like they were issued two hour penalties instead or were simply negated for logistics sake.
The Yield was refreshing to have too, but I think since the introduction of the U-Turn, the Yield would become more of a drama-inciter instead of a strategic game piece.
Again, overall, a good episode, but the leg design could’ve used a little more work.
PIT STOP Archaeological Museum Istanbul, Turkey
ROUTE MARKER Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamami Istanbul
DETOUR Yeni Camii Egyptian Bazaar Istanbul
ROUTE MARKER/INTERSECTION Rumelihisarı/Rumelian Castle Istanbul
ROAD BLOCK Darüzziyafe Restaurant Istanbul
PIT STOP Beyazit Square Istanbul, Turkey
DEPARTURE Archaeological Museum Istanbul, Turkey
Paul & Steve 9:59am Michelle & Jo 10:32am Sticky & Sam 10:51am Joseph & Grace 10:51am Shane & Andrew 11:01am Lucy & Emilia 11:24am James & Sarah 1:13pm Ross & Tarryn 1:30pm (^4 hour penalty?)
> or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? Who wants to give it a whirl? In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
3 Paul Steve1 2 Michelle Jo2 2Joseph Grace 2 3Sticky Sam 1 2Shane Andrew 2 1 Lucy Emilia3 2 Sarah James2 1 Tarryn Ross3
1DonnaKym1 2SueTeresa0 0AdamDane0
PIT STOP Beyazit Square Istanbul, Turkey
1st Paul & Steve = 2nd Michelle & Jo = 3rd Joseph & Grace +1 4th Sticky & Sam -1 5th Lucy & Emilia +1 6th Shane & Andrew -1 7th James & Sarah = Eliminated Ross & Tarryn =
Lucy & Emilia – Another fun leg for them. And they again moved up one spot. I guess at the very least they’re keeping themselves away from danger, though slowly and little by little. Them enjoying and having fun definitely helps them I think.
Paul & Steve – A very good leg for them. Their Yield wasn’t personal and they focused on competing and winning. The leg design definitely helped with their win, but they avoided any mistakes and used their luck to their advantage. They’re building momentum now.
Sarah & James – What makes Sarah & James both entertaining and rootable is that while they can bicker, they are also very competitive. They focus on getting the job done (save for last leg’s Road Block) and really want to win. They avoid any of the inter-team drama and concentrate on their own game. Plus Sarah’s hilarious of course. I’m definitely rooting for them to go far.
Michelle & Jo – They’re continuing their consistent Race, but both (!) of them collapsing this leg made it a rough one for them. Other than that though, they pushed through even with the Yield and also focused on the Race without getting bitter about it. I’d say, so far, they are slightly more competitive than Sam & Renae of TARAu1, if only because the twins are stepping it up each week. Sam & Renae peaked in leg 1.
Tarryn & Ross – The odds were completely against them and it’s a shame because I was hoping they’d get themselves back on track after two oddly negative legs from them. They seemed defeated and downtrodden the last leg and a half and then the non-elimination came which I thought could give them the drive to step it up. But the leg design offered them no chance.
Shane & Andrew – I’d say they are taking their “bumbling cops” image to new heights with them handing over the Detour to Sticky & Sam, but then they go and give that little souvenir to the kid so I guess that makes up for it. Still, the cops are doing okay, but are really getting dragged down by their horrible taxi luck, probably the worst I’ve seen on any TAR. It’s pretty unreal. If they can get over that, maybe they can finally move up in the ranks.
Sticky & Sam – A pretty quiet leg from them. After two wins, they seem to have slowed down a little, but still a solid, consistent team.
Joseph & Grace – Joseph might be a little condescending to his sister, but Grace is absolutely passive on it and pretty much everything else on the Race that doesn’t involve Paul. It’s very odd.
Quotes from Episode 2.06
Lucy: “Take a seat… my stunning specimen of a man!”
A new day in Dubai and James & Sarah open the first clue of the leg telling teams to head to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel Marina and wait for the Dubai Pearl, a traditional Arabian dhow, where they’ll look for the skipper who’ll give them their next clue.
They head to the marina and learn the Dubai Pearl will arrive at 9:30. Sticky & Sam and Joseph & Grace arrive at the marina and Sarah doesn’t want to give them any information, but James tells them about the boat arriving later. This makes Sarah very upset.
Later, Joseph & Grace, Sticky & Sam and Michelle & Jo are laying around at the marina and they decide to mess around with Paul & Steve when they arrive. Paul wonders if they need to do anything before waiting around. Grace tells them to read their clue properly and Paul & Steve walk down the pier as the others chuckle. Steve tells Paul to not mind them and Paul talks about being bullied when he was younger for having a weight problem.
When they get back, Grace wants to high five Paul, but he’s not having any of it. He says he doesn’t have to waste his time on petty bullies like Grace.
All the teams except Lucy & Emilia are at the dock when the Dubai Pearl arrives. Paul rushes in first and he and Steve open the clue to reveal the Detour.
In this Detour, teams would take part in tasks related to Dubai’s bustling trade market. In Count ‘Em Up, teams head to a spice market where they must count the numbers of dried limes in a sack to receive their next clue. In Price ‘Em Up, teams head to a marked jewelry store where they must arrange seven pieces of jewelry in order from least to most expensive to receive their next clue.
As the teams head to the spice market, Lucy & Emilia have to play catch up as they just start their leg. Most of the teams head to the Count ‘Em Up Detour, but Sticky & Sam’s taxi driver gets lost so they decide to do the Price ‘Em Up Detour.
Michelle & Jo, Joseph & Grace, Ross & Tarryn and James & Sarah all enter their guesses first, but none are correct. Paul & Steve write down “1493” and they are given their next clue.
They open the clue telling them to make their way on foot to the Deira Old Souq Station to search for the next clue, but! There is an Anonymous U-Turn ahead. They have to go back to their taxi to grab their bags. This allows Shane & Andrew (with 1506 limes) to pass them and arrive at the U-Turn first. Paul & Steve are right behind them as Shane & Andrew unanonymously U-Turn them.
Paul & Steve head over to the other Detour. But while Sticky & Sam are still struggling with the jewelry, Steve’s “bling” experience helps them get the task over with on their 2nd attempt.
Back at the limes, Lucy & Emilia catch up to Joseph & Grace and James & Sarah. Sarah begins counting loudly to throw the others off. And it apparently works as Joseph & Grace are wrong again. Grace snaps back at the judge and they switch, as do James & Sarah.
All the teams are done with the Detour and now on the same flight to their next destination, Istanbul, Turkey, arriving at 6:55pm.
Teams have to take a taxi to the Blue Mosque and getting there first are Paul & Steve, Lucy & Emilia, Joseph & Grace and Michelle & Jo. In the rush to find the clue, Paul accidentally bumps into Grace. She yells at him and he apologizes as he and Steve get to the Sultan with the clue first, revealing the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams walk to the historic Hagia Sophia where they will memorize 8 Arabic symbols that they must line up in order on a vertical column in the Basilica Cistern. Teams can only return to the Hagia Sophia once if they don’t get it right the first time.
The teams head into the Hagia Sophia then run over to the Cistern where their teammates are waiting. Paul quickly finishes the Road Block and reaches into a fountain of leeches for the next clue telling them to head to the Pit Stop at the Archaeological Museum. They officially step on the Mat first and win a $10,000 trip to the Australian Rally Championship from Honda.
Michelle & Jo follow in 2nd. After going back to the Hagia Sophia, Sticky & Sam, Joseph & Grace and Shane & Andrew finish and head to “the Pit” to check-in 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively.
Back at the Cistern, James & Sarah decide to quit and take the four-hour Road Block penalty hoping either Lucy & Emilia or Ross & Tarryn would also take a penalty. They head to see Grant and he tells them to wait off to the side. Meanwhile, Lucy is shocked to find out she’s got the correct order and she and Emilia head to the Pit Stop to officially check-in 6th.
At the Cistern, Ross quits. He tells Tarryn he can’t do it anymore and that they should’ve taken the penalty earlier. They head to the Pit Stop. Grant calls over James & Sarah and checks them in as Team #7. That makes Ross & Tarryn Team #8 and in last place.
But… it’s a non-elimination leg and they are safe. The two teams hug it out as Grant tells Ross & Tarryn that they are Marked for Elimination and must come in first the next leg or receive a 30 minute penalty.
Episode Thoughts What an episode! Lots of happenings; great competition, drama, excellent locations, a night task!
We haven’t had a leg like this on TARUS in years. Actually hopping on a plane in the middle of a leg!? Unheard of! The first part of the leg in Dubai had the great Detour. Two simple, yet tricky tasks that would trip up any team. Having the U-Turn before the country hopping also interesting and refreshing since TARUS has put U-Turns right before the Pit Stop with no chance for the U-Turned team to catch up.
This was probably the first time a team in first place gets U-Turned. So much in first place that they can complete the 2nd Detour and still be in 3rd place.
The flight to Turkey was essentially a mid-leg equalizer and also helped set up the excellent Road Block at the Hagia Sophia to take place at night. What an amazing visual of being inside the Hagia Sophia and then down in that Cistern in the darkness. I’ve always loved it when TARUS did nighttime legs. Of course, safety is a concern, but whenever they can, I hope TARUS does more stuff at night.
Overall, probably my favorite episode of the season so far. I think this season has gotten better and better every episode.
PIT STOP Four Points by Sheraton Helipad Dubai, UAE
ROUTE MARKER Dubai Pearl, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Marina Dubai
DETOUR Al Arsa Souq Old Gold Souq Dubai
ROUTE MARKER Deira Old Souq Station Dubai
DESTINATION CITY Istanbul, Turkey
ROUTE MARKER Blue Mosque Istanbul
ROAD BLOCK Hagia Sophia Basilica Cistern Istanbul
PIT STOP Archaeological Museum Istanbul, Turkey
DEPARTURE Four Points by Sheraton Helipad Dubai, UAE
James & Sarah 5:47am Sticky & Sam 5:59am Joseph & Grace 6:09am Michelle & Jo 6:10am Shane & Andrew 7:04am Paul & Steve 7:49am Ross & Tarryn 8:14am Lucy & Emilia 9:42am
COUNT ‘EM UP µ
PRICE ‘EM UP µ
> or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? Whose memory won’t go to water? In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
3Paul Steve 0 2 Michelle Jo1 1 Joseph 0 Grace2 2 Sticky Sam1 1 Shane Andrew2 1Lucy Emilia 2 2Sarah* James 1 1 Tarryn Ross* 2
*Sarah and Ross did not complete the Road Block and each took a four hour penalty.
1DonnaKym1 2SueTeresa0 0AdamDane0
PIT STOP Archaeological Museum Istanbul, Turkey
1st Paul & Steve +5 2nd Michelle & Jo +2 3rd Sticky & Sam-1 4th Joseph & Grace -1 5th Shane & Andrew = 6th Lucy & Emilia +2 7th James & Sarah -6 8th Ross & Tarryn -1
Lucy & Emilia – They broke their 2nd to last streak, but they’re still in the Race. They were still hanging by a thread, but it was not as thin this leg as it has been. Good that they realize the need for them to start running instead of walking.
Paul & Steve – They recovered nicely this leg and finally backed up all their talk. They get kudos, especially Paul for easily taking care of the Road Block and apparently the counting side of the Detour. Paul could probably keep the bitch face to a minimum and instead show the others up by competing like they did this leg. This is the kind of leg you’d expect from two alpha males and finally a leg that backs up their (or Paul’s) bravado.
Sarah & James – Still hilarious! Except for their unfortunate quitting, they had an enjoyable leg. They didn’t perform as well as last leg, especially with Sarah giving up at the Road Block when she was so close to finishing, but they brought the entertainment.
Michelle & Jo – Another solid leg for them. They’ve been very consistent and Racing very well. They’re staying out the drama and concentrating on themselves and their hair. That bodes well for their future prospects in the Race.
Sticky & Sam – They sit back when others teams have drama and focus on their own Race. That’s a good strategy. And they’re maintaining their consistent Race so far as well.
Tarryn & Ross – It was a tough Road Block, but like in last leg, I am surprised to see how easily they quit. In the first few legs they showed the complete opposite. And now for two legs, they seem like they’re barely in the Race anymore. I hope they can pick it up and survive next leg.
Shane & Andrew – They’re moving along in the middle of the pack. They probably wasted their U-Turn though. And they haven’t gotten themselves out of the middle yet. And sooner or later last place is going to catch up to them.
Joseph & Grace – I’m never a fan of teams who instigate trouble. Just like Art & JJ in TAR20, Grace trying to get a rise out of Paul, then getting upset when he gets upset at her? I don’t get it. Grace might actually turn out to be the Vanessa of TARAu2 with Joseph being the Ralph. And that’s not a great comparison at all.
Quotes from Episode 2.05
Ross: “Limes are like little lemons.” Tarryn: “I know what a lime is daddy, are you for real?!”