TAR Australia: ‘A town that was 15-20 letters long’

It’s been a while since I’ve watched two episodes of The Amazing Race in the same day. Admittedly, after the elimination of Anne-Marie & Tracy, I wasn’t that excited about the second one. However, I’m pleased to say it was rather enjoyable.

Nine teams had to fly to the city of Port Elizabeth in South Africa and search the parking for a marked car with a clue. Very little happened before the teams got there. No one said anything funny either, not even The Cowboys. One Moose threw up on the ferry and then the team apparently discussed whether or not they would continue racing. Really? Would you actually consider doing that, just because you have sea sick?

The next clue instructed teams to drive to Camdeboo National Park and search the Valley of Desolation for their next clue. When Alana failed in her attempt to drive the manual car, Mel looked like she was ready to rip her head off. And it’s hard to blame her, really; Alana has not, as far as I can remember, done anything so far in this Race. Despite this setback, the sisters, as well as everyone else arrived at their destination only to find out the Detour was in the city they’ve just left – Port Elizabeth. Mel was frustrated, yelling ‘Amazing Race, what are you doing to us?’. Nothing brings me more joy than watching her fume. OK, I can think of a couple of things.

 

Against the world

 

The Detour this week was a choice between Smash and Bash. The first one required teams to smash four pots by throwing traditional knobkieries – it seemed to me this was more of a luck challenge. Sure, it involved some skill, but at the same time you had just as many chances of hitting them if you didn’t pay any attention to how you threw the sticks. For Bash, teams had to build a giraffe feeder – this was the safer option of the two; going in, you knew you would finish sooner or later.

Both sides of the Detour would take place in a park. In that park there were animals. So I have to ask, why can’t we have a challenge involving a live giraffe, for example? Make the teams ride one or something. Or a lion.

Obviously, the Park is only open on the day after all teams get there. Richard & Joey arrived first and by now it became clear all other teams hate them. When teams approached a muddy (really muddy) portion of the road, the following part of a post-leg interview was shown:

 

Teams are not stopping for Joey & Richard

Richard: ‘We’re first, the pressure’s on, we just didn’t…’

Joey: ‘Think.’

 

Those funny lines described how Team ‘Focus-Believe-Achieve‘ got stuck in the mud, while everyone else laughed. Matt’s laugh was the scariest, by far. Instead of helping Richard & Joey, The Surfers (followed by everyone else) drove right by them. For a second (just one) I felt sorry for them: they were dirty, they were trying to dig up their car and seemed to be getting nowhere. But that second passed.

Meanwhile, Matt & Tom and Nathan & Tyler sped through the Smash side of the Detour. Either one of these teams could end up winning it all. Even though the Cowboys are, well, cowboys, if I had to, I’d put my money on The Surfers. Of course I like Matt & Tom more, but as of now, they’re not that great with directions. Jeff & Luke and The Moose weren’t this lucky with the challenge and had to switch. Everyone who went for the giraffe feeder finished pretty quickly, as I had anticipated.

 

Caution, U-Turn ahead!

 

That’s right, this episode saw the first use of an U-Turn ever on TAR: Australia. Personally, I would have preferred it to be a (1) Yield or (2) Double U-Turn. To this day, the only effectively U-Turned teams that survived the respective legs are Brook & Claire (S17) and The Globetrotters (S18). And the only reason they weren’t eliminated is because they weren’t the only team U-Turned that leg.

Matt & Tom were the first ones to get there and chose not to use it – clever. The Surfers were second and chose to use it on Richard & Joey – not clever. First of all, you are in second place: you don’t need to U-Turn anybody. Second, everyone hates Richard & Joey. You know everyone hates them. Why don’t you leave someone else to use up their U-Turn and save yours for later on? Makes sense?

Everyone was more than happy to see who was U-Turned. Dave & Kelly in particular took a moment to celebrate. Joey & Richard were quite bitter about it, though. What happened with that positive attitude, fellas?

 

The great not great Roadblock

 

The Roadblock should have been exciting, but as of now I’ve seen so many people bungee-jump on The Amazing Race that it just doesn’t do anything for me anymore. Nobody panicked, nobody had any problems with it, the packing order wasn’t changed… I do want, however, to thank Nathan for granting my wish of seeing someone bungee-jumping without screaming. I never quite understood why you have to scream like that: you know you’re not going to die. So close your eyes, shut up and enjoy the jump. Quietly.

After the Roadblock, teams headed out to the town of Nomathamsanqa, where they had to catch a goat and deliver it to the local witch doctor. None of the team had an easy time with the goats, which were very stubborn. Despite being pulled over by the police, Matt & Tom ultimately beat The Surfers for the first place in a tight race to the Pit Stop. I was more than happy about them. Chris & Anastasia checked in third – this, on the other hand, did upset me. Chris is such an idiot in the way he treats Anastasia and she’s and idiot for allowing it. Jeff & Luke, Sam & Renae, Dave & Kelly and the reunited sisters checked in fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. I was impressed with Alana & Mel. A seventh place finishing is not that bad when one team member does nothing (Honestly Alana? We’re four legs into the Race and you have yet to complete one Roadblock?).

Focus, believe and leave

In the end it came down to Richard & Joey and The Moose. Moose which are having the same kind of luck Andrew & Dan had, on season 13. Once again, that kept them safe as they merely beat the bold couple. Still, I have to give credit where credit it due: they managed to make up a lot of time and at one point I thought they might beat the friends. That said, I’m not sad at all to see them go. They screamed, yelled and shouted way too much for my taste.

 

I know I will not miss them, but will you? What did you think about this episode overall?

Posted on June 7, 2011, in The Amazing Race and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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