TAR Australia: ‘Like four seasons in a day’

Because of some technical problems, I couldn’t watch the second episode of The Amazing Race: Australia until earlier this day. However, it was worth the wait. Not only it was a 60 minutes long, but it was just as exciting as the first one.

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Imagination vs. Rationality

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Teams had to fly from Lombok to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, where they had to search amongst hundreds of women, each holding a fan, for one having their names on it, which they

Ryot and Liberty search for a fan

would then exchange for their next clue. Even though this task wasn’t particularly exciting to watch, there was plenty of drama prior to it.

To begin with, Matt & Tom secured their status as the Australian versions of The Cowboys by asking at what I think were the airport for a bus to take them to Ho Chi Minh City. No, navigating isn’t their strongest point, they know this as well. But the challenges are their saving grace and it was the same with Jet and Cord.

They are a likable team. However, at the pole opposite are Chris and Anastasia, the plastic couple. They are, at least in my eyes, the team to root against. When one counter lady told them the first available flight was departing the next day, Anastasia suggested they check out other agencies. That was common sense, to try and search for a better option. Chris seemed to disagree, however, and started yelling things like ‘That’s why a person like you shouldn’t talk’ and ‘You need discipline, you never had any’. Of course, he also called her an idiot. In a post leg interview, they both agreed that they fight, but ‘it’s not that bad’. Yeah, keep dreaming.

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Green and Yellow Clue Boxes

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Although four flights were necessary for all the teams to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, after they had found their fan and got their next clue, teams found out they had to catch another flight, this time to the city of Hue. Because of bad weather, the first flight was delayed and this gave all teams a chance to catch up.

The next task required teams to change the tires and replace the oil of a Jeep, before receiving their next clue. I like that there are more miscellaneous tasks on this Race. While the Roadblock-Detour-Pit Stop format is working just fine, when there are more challenges in a leg, then the placement changes more often. And that is exciting.

All teams started working on their car at the same time. Apparently, the trick was to get rid of the oil already in the engine first, since that takes longer. The only team that did this was Jeff & Luke, so they finished first, followed by the Surfers and Dave and Kelly. Sam and Renae, unfortunately, managed to screw up here. Renae put the wheel nuts the wrong way, which resulted in them leaving the task in 10th place.

But you know who I was impressed with? Anne-Marie and Tracy. This wasn’t something they had an edge over, yet they finished in eight place. On top of that, they managed to have fun while doing it. They are too lovable!

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Carry on!

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I think I am a bit traumatized after the four or five consecutive episodes of TAR 18, in which one side of the Detour involved transporting stuff. I mean, surely you can think of

Working the buffalo!

something else, right? Just Google ‘traditions in [Name of Country]’ and base a challenge on something you come across.

I wasn’t a fan of the ‘Carry Fowl’ side of this week’s Detour, which had teams (gasp!) carrying chickens from one place to another. The other side of the Detour, ‘Carabao’, required teams to use an ox-drawn plow to till the soil, until the plow caught on a buried rope attached to a hidden clue.

Everyone who chose to carry the chickens finished quickly. Quite a few teams chose the latter option though. Jeff & Luke, ‘Muscle & Bambi’, Anne-Marie & Tracy, The Reunited Sisters and Ryot & Liberty all went for the ‘Carabao’. However, only the couple and Jeff & Luke managed to find the clue. Everyone else had to backtrack and perform the other side of the Detour. The Workmates were hilarious, of course, during the ox challenge. One of them noted afterwards that ‘it didn’t’ take long for her to drop’.

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Seven emperors

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The Roadblock, however, I did enjoy. One team member had to retrieve seven coins representing seven emperors at the tomb of Minh Mang, then bring them back to Khai Dinh Tomb and put them in the correct order of the reign of the emperors. But the catch was that teams only found out they had to arrange them that way after they had returned to the Khai Dinh Tomb.

As a result, almost everyone had to return to the Minh Mang Tomb. Anastasia, Mo and Anne-Marie were, I think, the only ones who actually got it right the first time. Again, the Workmates showed perseverance: Anne-Marie was exhausted from the Detour, yet she stayed focus and finished the task before younger, stronger teams.

Still, I could not believe it that it was Anastasia who finished first. The thought of them winning a leg was almost unbearable; I really hoped either Nathan & Tyler or The Farmers, who had both finished right after them, would somehow surpass them. And, as the lovebirds wondered around, both teams did: Tyler & Nathan checked in first, followed by Matt & Tom. Only after that did Chris & Anastasia manage to find the mat and check in. Maybe you need a bit more discipline?

Mo and Mos actually came in fourth, but because of their 30 minute penalty they acquired at the end of the previous leg, they were dropped to seventh place, just ahead of the Workmates.

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‘Let’s do it together!’

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That left us with three teams: The sisters, Ryot and Liberty and Joey and Richard. I was really unsure who would get eliminated, but going into the episode I didn’t think any of them would be the first ones out. On the other hand, these are probably the three teams I don’t know what to make of, so I knew I wouldn’t be broken to see one of them go.

There’s a part of me that wants to like Alana & Mel. But they bicker so much and if they themselves don’t like each other, how can I? I admire how Richard and Joey motivate each other, but they tend to overdo it. Can’t you say your little mantras in your head? Also, Joey was beyond annoying during the Roadblock. Just because people don’t want to work with you, that doesn’t mean they’re being mean. So shut up and figure it out!

Sad siblings

Both were spared elimination in the end, as Ryot & Liberty were sent packing. They seemed like a likable team, but apart from Liberty puking last leg, I didn’t think they stood out very much. Even so, Liberty wanting them both to step on the mat at the same time was touching. What do you know: After all, I actually was sad to see them go.

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This has been another great episode and I enjoyed it very much.

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Posted on May 27, 2011, in The Amazing Race and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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