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TAR Australia: ‘My favorite friend in the entire race’

After a great season finale, Shane&Andrew WON the second season of The Amazing Race: Australia after running a brilliant final leg. Out of the three final teams, I was rooting for them the hardest, so I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. It’s true that for the first half of the season, they’ve been kind of invisible. But as more and more of my favorite teams got eliminated, they filled in those shoes. They won me over when they first handed out that kangaroo toy to a kid in Turkey.

While I was delighted the Cops won, I was sorry to see the Twins self-destruct. They probably are the most consistent team on all TAR seasons I’ve ever seen – they placed in the top 3 on 10 out of 12 legs and that’s impressive. Major kudos to them as well!

Also… just as sweet as Shane&Andrew winning was Paul&Steve losing. Oh, the joy of seeing them walk two hours instead of taking a taxi! The joy of Steve not guessing Paul’s answers during the jail challenge! The divine joy of Paul being beaten by everyone else at the final Roadblock! In the end, they finished second, after which Paul gave a speech about how he tried to run the race with honesty and integrity and cried. Was anyone impressed by that?

In the end, all is right with the world again. This has been a fantastic season and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly! I’m looking forward to the next one, despite the year long wait.

Shane&Andrew after winning TAR: Australia!

P.S. I really wish they’d make two seasons per year. These first two seasons have kicked Seasons 19 and 20’s asses so badly and on so many levels it’s incredible.

TAR Australia: ‘You’re mean and you have a smiley face on your front’

If you had told me after the first episode of TAR: Australia that these three teams will be the Final Three, I would have laughed in your face. I never imagined Shane&Andrew making it past the midpoint and I was quick to stereotype the Twins as ‘the blond girls’ since Sam&Renae placed so well last year. But I’ve really grown to like both these teams and I’ll be delighted to see either win.

Steve&Paul on the other hand… they came in first five times in a row, so there is a real and frightening possibility that they might actually win. I’m not sure how I will take that, given that I almost feel physical pain whenever Paul speaks. Why couldn’t he get acute laryngitis and leave Steve to do all the talking? He seems like a fun, nice guy to be around. How is he friends with someone who has a pathological urge to brag about Every. Single. Thing. He. Does. is completely beyond me. Would Paul winning be enough to ruin the season? I don’t think so, but it would surely end it on a bitter note.

As for Joseph&Grace, I’m sorry they had such a bad exit. I don’t think they were the best of people, but they definitely were one of the most entertaining teams this season.

Looking forward to the finale!

TAR Australia: ‘Like driving into a postcard’

At first, I’ve resented the Summer Olympics for pushing TAR: Australia back two weeks, but now I’m glad it’s happened this way. Not only we get the remaining three episodes in three consecutive days, but now that Lucy&Emilia have been eliminated, we only have to hurt for two days – not weeks.

It was rather obvious they will be sent packing from the first few minutes. Not only the first words they told the camera were along the lines of ‘being grateful for what you have’, but we knew from the sneak peek that there will be quite a few physical challenges this leg. Skiing, riding an electric bull, climbing a frozen waterfall, getting a clue out of an ice sculpture… not exactly those two girls’ strong points. However, they never gave up – not that anyone expected otherwise – and left the same they raced this entire time – positive, optimistic and with smiles on their faces. They’ve been two rays of sunshine this entire season and it was awesome!

To make it that much better, they completed a challenge Steve&Paul didn’t. Big, scary Paul, who can do ANYTHING couldn’t locate the backpack, yet the sisters did! Paul got beaten by Team Turtle. Sweet. Very sweet. (While on the topic of sweet things, let’s all mock Steve&Paul for being complete idiots during the last challenge and falling to fourth place. It warms me on the inside.)

So. My Ideal Final Three is all gone, none of the teams made it to the Final Three. A slight regression from last season (Sam&Renae made it and it was obviously just because I rooted for them *sarcasm*), but I’m cool with it. I think all three ran great races and I wish to see them all return for the All-Stars version I’m hoping will be made at some point in time.

But before that, we need to pray to all gods and saints that Steve&Paul get eliminated next.

 

The awesome Lucy&Emilia!

TAR Australia: ‘I wanted to run for the hills and find a bear to wrestle’

I was right, wasn’t I? This episode wasn’t quite the same without Sticky&Sam, although the fact Lucy&Emilia got a lot of screen time certainly made the transition easier. And funnier.

All teams caught the same flight to Vancouver, Canada, where Paul&Steve and The Cops decided to go for the only Fast Forward of the Race. Both teams knew whoever got a cab first will eventually take the Fast Forward. Shane&Andrew have never had any luck with taxis so far, so sadly it was Paul&Steve who got a cab first, completed the Fast Forward (which required them to pose nude) and made it to the Pit Stop in first place. Paul bragged about it and was as unlikable as always – so nothing new there. I guess the only good thing to come out of this is that we didn’t have to watch them for the entire episode.

The first challenge the teams faced was to decipher a nautical phrase using the International Maritime Signal Flags. Lucy&Emilia were, of course, hilarious: ‘<Beam me up, Scotty!> is not a nautical phrase’, is what Lucy said at one point. They struggled a bit with the challenge, though not as much as James&Sarah, who had already gotten a rough start to the day.

The Detour (a choice between Tumble and Toss) didn’t affect any of the teams’ placements with the exception of Shane&Andrew. On that note, I’m really impressed with how far they’ve come – I never expected them to make it past the midpoint and they’ve also grown on me over the past few legs. Also worth mentioning about the Detour is the fact it showed yet again what a beautiful relationship Lucy and Emilia have. Lucy was virtually useless at the Detour (she managed to fell in the water after only putting one feet on the log), yet Emilia was nothing but encouraging and positive about it. She didn’t seem to be bothered at all. They’re amazing!

The Roadblock posed some problems for the Italian sisters and Joseph&Grace, but in the end they didn’t matter, as Sarah&James couldn’t make up the time lost during the leg or compensate for their lack of money. They arrived at the Pit Stop in last place and were eliminated. I’ve had mixed feelings about them the entire season. For the most part, I thought Sarah was irrational and crazy and I wasn’t impressed by their bickering and fighting. However, there were times when I felt sympathetic towards them or when I thought ‘Sarah isn’t all that bad…’ and this episode was one of them. I actually was a little sad when they were eliminated, but it came down to them and the Italian sisters, so overall I was more than pleased with the outcome. (And I loved their mini speech about how they’re going to know each other until they’re 85 and all, cause I’m pretty sure I read last week that they’ve broken up already.)

Now we have a three week wait before the next episode, courtesy of the Summer Olympics. Further proof that sports are bad.

(I’m just joking, of course. Sports are good. Go, sports!)

TAR Australia: Farewell to Sticky&Sam!

:(

Unbelievable. Another one of my grim premonitions turns true as we lose Sticky&Sam on The Amazing Race: Australia. Not only that, but with Lucy&Emilia being the only team from my original three selections still in the Race, I’d say the chances of having someone to truly root for in the Final Three are pretty slim. The preview scenes for next week show Lucy having a breakdown, so I’m open to the devastating possibility of losing my three favorite teams in a row. Which would be terrible.

But back to Sticky&Sam. I’m incredibly sad, disappointed and frustrated. Why did they have to get lost? Why didn’t they ask for directions sooner? Why did they have to get lost in Paris? Why couldn’t someone else screw up, like Paul&Steve? Now they have the best shot at winning, which would really put a damper on this season. I always thought Sticky&Sam would at least make the Final Four, so I never worried much about them – this makes their elimination a little harder to accept. The remainder of the Race will not be the same without these two, that’s a fact.

I could go on for a few paragraphs about how this is unfair, but I don’t see the point. Besides, I’m putting that energy to good use: hoping and praying they’re brought back in the event of an All-Stars season. I mean… they have to come back, right?

In the meanwhile… go Lucy&Emilia!

 

Sticky&Sam being eliminated!

P.S. The fact I didn’t collect a quote from the episode for the title can mostly be attributed to the anxiety that took over me a few minutes into the show.

TAR Australia: ‘The right to continue racing’

Wow. Was that a thrilling episode or what?

In the most bizarre twist of fate, Sticky&Sam managed to fall at the back of the pack, being surpassed by even Sarah&James. Since they left the airport in Cuba after Sarah&James, I’m pretty sure they’ll be starting the second half of this Double Leg in last place… They’re a strong team and based on past performances the logical thing to assume is that they’ll be able to make up the lost time. However, I have a bad feeling about the next episode. They cannot, it simply CANNOT happen that they are eliminated next. Sticky&Sam have to make it to at least the final four, cause if they don’t, I’m not sure any of my Ideal Top Three teams will make it to the Top Three. And it would be just sad to lose two teams I love in a row. Fingers crossed neither them, nor Lucy&Emilia go next week!

It’s interesting most of the episodes don’t follow the exact format that we’ve been used to. Legs with either a Detour or a Roadblock, mid-leg flights, more miscellaneous tasks – it’s all contributing to this version of the show to have a more stand-out feel to it. Plus, this way you never know what to expect from a leg.

I’m dying to see what happens next week! To recap, the episode ended after Paul&Steve (sigh!) and the twins checked in at the fake Pit Stop and everyone else being in a lot of trouble. Shane&Andrew’s car died. Lucy&Emilia’s car stopped on what looked to be a railway track. Smoke was coming out of Joseph&Grace’s car. Sticky&Sam seemed lost (God, I hope they don’t get eliminated next week). And what’s with the clue instructing teams to go to Australia? It appears next week’s episode will be yet another great one.

TAR Australia: ‘My stunning specimen of a man’

:(.

So, we’ve lost Ross&Tarryn. I knew it was coming ever since the Intersection – Sarah had been way too happy in her post-leg interview. It was sad seeing them go, but on the bright side, I’ve had all my three favorite teams make it for ½ of the Race. Tarryn&Ross had also won a leg before, so it’s not even like they’re leaving empty handed. They’re amazing & I want them for the All-Stars version! Whenever that may be.

Other than that, the episode was slow paced with no power shifts, yet funnier than most. Lucy&Emilia were, as always, hilarious and Shane&Andrew had a nice, heart-warming moment with a 3 years old. They’re starting to grow on me, as do the twins. I have massive respect for them and I wouldn’t mind them sticking around until the final legs. I’ve enjoyed seeing the Yield tremendously – it was always one of my favorite twists. I don’t think we’ve ever had a Double-Yield, but I’d be curious to see how that would work.

On the other end of the spectrum, Paul is still the person I despise the most out of all contestants. There is a real possibility he and Steve make it to the Final Three, I’m sorry to say. And it’s terrifying. I cannot hope and pray enough that they are eliminated next!

Also, I’m done with my exams, so starting next week I should be able to write more detailed posts about the show.

TAR Australia:’Wrong? You’re wrong!’

So, episode number five. A few thoughts, in bullet points style, only without the bullet points.

First thing to notice was the awkward structure of the leg: the second leg in a row to feature a U-Turn – an Anonymous one this time – and a mid-leg flight to another country. Also unusual for this season was the fact it featured both a Roadblock and a Detour. I liked that.

Besides bad cab luck, The Cops have been pretty much invisible this entire Race, at least to me. I was happy they finally gave me a reason to at least try and be sympathetic towards them when they are eliminated by U-Turning Paul&Steve.

Despite my early predictions that Sarah&James would be the ones to beg to be hated, I have to say I don’t mind them. I still think they’re idiots, but I don’t mind them. Steve&Paul, on the other hand… In this week’s episode, we found out the reason Paul is annoying, arrogant and an ass: because he was bullied in high-school. Do I feel for him? Yes. Does this make me like him? Well… ‘I have an IQ which puts me in the 2% of Australia’. Or in other words – absolutely not. They grabbed first place this week (boo!), but I’m desperately waiting for them to be eliminated.

When it came down to Sarah&James, Lucy&Emilia and Ross&Tarryn I was certain I’d lose a favorite team this week, and was hoping Ross&Tarryn would be that team. They did come in last, only to be told this is a predetermined non-elimination leg! Yes! It would have been the worst episode so far if one of my favorite teams went the same episode that Paul&Steve won.

From the previews, I’m guessing the next episode will be funny and/or exciting! I can’t wait!

TAR Australia: ‘I’m sorry I ate so much ice cream as a child’

I have exams coming up which means I can’t write a full recap for the fourth episode of TAR: Australia. Again. So, a few of my thoughts:

First of all, this was the third episode (out of four) that did not feature a Roadblock! Honestly, what’s up with that? What we did have, however, is a U-Turn! Unsurprisingly, most teams voted for Paul&Steve. The exceptions were Lucy&Emilia, who chose the Cops (why, I don’t know) and James&Sarah, who opted for the Italian sisters. That is, the two girls who have almost been eliminated in each leg so far. With the reason being that they were the only ones behind them. All of that was followed by a statement from Sarah about how they’re ‘getting smarter’. Yeah, right. Smarter. They did finish first this leg, so we have to give credit where it’s due!

So, Kym&Donna bit the dust. They always reminded me of Dave&Kelly from the previous season because of their appearance and their way of interacting with each other. Now it seems they also share the same elimination – via not showing up at the Pit Stop. I’ve gotta say… them getting so lost was a truly epic failure. I refuse to believe absolutely no one in that country understands English, or that they couldn’t have just go into a store, check out a map, then draw their own. I’m glad they messed up because that was Lucy&Emilia’s saving grace (they are like cats – nine lives and all), but I also think there was a number of things they could have done to prevent that.

As for the other teams… Joseph&Grace surprised me with their strong performance, but I don’t think I like them. Did anyone see the way Grace refused to help out her brother while stuck in the sand? I was disappointed Paul&Steve managed to overcome the U-Turn, since that means we’re probably stuck with them for at least a few more legs. I still don’t have much to say about Shane&Andrew even though we’re already four episodes in. As for the twins, I’m still on the fence about them.

This was another good episode! I’m looking forward to next week!

TAR Australia: ‘I don’t like to use my brain’

The Amazing Race: Australia had me on the edge of my seat yet again. The third episode wasn’t exactly at the same level with the first two when it came to challenges, but it was still very much enjoyable. After two episodes with no Roadblocks, we had two for the price of one and the end result was one I couldn’t have been happier with.

For the second time in a row, Sticky&Sam finished the leg in first place, followed closely by Ross&Tarryn. I was ecstatic about that, since they are two of my favorite teams. However, Lucy&Emilia were in last place for most of the episode and I would’ve hated it if they went home this early. During the first season of TAR: Australia, one of my favorite teams (Tracy&Anne-Marie) were eliminated at the end of the third episode. Much like Lucy&Emilia, they were hilarious, likable and not that athletic and I was really worried history was going to repeat itself. Thankfully they managed to avoid elimination for the third time. “By the skin of their teeth, that’s how we roll” was what they said at the Pit-Stop.

 

Mystery spray

 

Sue&Teresa

Instead, Sue&Teresa were the ones whose journey came to an end. I must say, I never quite liked them. Before the season started, I was pretty convinced they would be one of my favorites – based on two photos and a few lines from an interview I read. But since the first leg, but they just seemed… weird, and not in a good way. And that cleansing spray? What was it called, the ‘aura cleansing spray’? Yeah, like I said: weird. Under normal circumstances, I still would have felt sorry for them; I mean, going from 4th to being eliminated is gotta be painful, especially when you had such good placements before. But it came down to them and the sisters, so… no way.

You know who I’m dying to see get eliminated, though? Paul&Steve. Actually, if they could get rid of Paul and let Steve race on his own, I’d be fine with that too. This week they got into a feud with Kym&Donna and I don’t think it wasn’t their fault. Sadly.

From the scenes, it does look like Paul knocked over those pots was an accident; however, the way he handled the situation bothered me. Instead of just apologizing and moving on, he got all defensive and loud. It was annoying to say the least – almost as annoying as his comments during the second Roadblock. ‘I needed to prove that I’m not arrogant and I’ve got skills to back me up’? I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Paul, but you are arrogant as hell. You should change your middle name to Arrogance. The fact that you are capable of doing things does not mean you’re not arrogant. Gosh, I can’t stand that guy!

The episode itself was okay. Like I said, the challenges weren’t that impressive, but that place with the stairs looked really cool. Also, it’s always a delight to see teams having to drive through India – after all the TAR seasons I’ve watched, I’m still amazed by how chaotic the traffic in India is.

 

‘We got arrested’

 

I’m looking forward to the next episode. From the preview, it looks like a lot of teams will have breakdowns of some sorts and Lucy&Emilia get arrested. I sincerely hope that won’t be the bane of their existence. Jaime&Cara survived an encounter with the police during Unfinished Business, so I am hoping the sisters will be able to pull through as well.

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