TAR Australia: ‘At least the view’s nice’

Yes. Yes, the second half of the leg more than made up for the first one. I was very satisfied with it, as well as with its outcome… although that log chopping task? Insane.



‘It’s not over yet’


The episode started with Chris & Anastasia checking in first at the Pit Stop in Prague only to find out the leg’s not over yet. They immediately got their next clue, which instructed them to travel by train to Krakow, Poland and search the car park for a marked vehicle. Did I mention already that I love that teams are doing most of the driving?

The ‘Lovebirds’, Surfers, Father & Son and Models all got on the first train to Krakow. Surprising, since the train ride (or plane) at the start of a leg usually gives trailing teams a chance to catch up. The second train only carried Dave & Kelly and The Farmers. The latter are one of my favorites, but I somehow wasn’t worried about them.

Some problems arose for Tyler & Nathan, however, in the form of two men stealing their fanny pack. Still, since they were on a moving train, the chances of finding it were pretty good, I reckon. But the thieves were nice enough to only take the money and leave the rest behind. If I were in their position, I would have taken a few clues so I can frame them – worth so much more than whatever cash was in that fanny pack.


Dig, not push over!


Upon arriving in Krakow, teams encountered the second Roadblock of this leg: they had to drive to a salt mine, where one team member had to push a mine cart through the mine until the end of the line. They then had to dig through the cart to find crystalline keys, one of which unlocked the awesome looking crypt with the next clue. It was so much better than last one, even if only because of the crypt: I half expect a mummy to jump up and hand them the clue.

All four leading teams got to the mine at about the same time. Luke found the key first, but decided not to show it to anyone. We are down to the final six teams, so that was expected. I was so happy Renae was the second person to find the key – it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen ‘Sam & Renae – Currently in 2nd place’. Chris got his soon afterwards, leaving a frustrated Nathan to push his cart over. It was surprising they didn’t get a penalty of some sort for that – after all, the instructions specified he had to dig for the key. By the time The Cowboys and Dave & Kelly got to the Roadblock, everyone else was on their way to the Detour.

Detour which, was interesting this week, but I just wish the teams hadn’t all done the same task – Herd. They had to build a sheep pen and herd three marked sheep. Jeff & Luke once again got lost (in their words, ‘about four times’), meaning Sam & Renae arrived first.

Herding the sheep proved to be more troublesome than I had anticipated: the animals were running around and smashing fences, but this only angered Renae. And when Renae is angry, Renae goes the Herculean route: she lifts the marked sheep and carries them to the pen. Seriously though, she was awesome – one sheep weighed more than 50 kgs! They finished the task first, followed by Chris & Anastasia and Jeff & Luke.

Given the Cowboys’ embarrassing history with Cowboy-related tasks, I didn’t know how they would perform. Thankfully, they redeemed themselves, getting in after Dave & Kelly and leaving before them. Admittedly, Dave & Kelly are not exactly the ones to but, but at least they got out of last place.


Problems x4


The teams faced an Intersection next. After joining forces, they had to cut four slices of a huge log. Now, I think this was a bit too much. I mean, it’s the end of a double leg and teams are already exhausted. Cutting that leg seemed incredibly hard and it would have posed quite enough problems in a normal leg. Anastasia struggled with it the most; normally I really wouldn’t care, but she and Chris paired up with Sam & Renae. If she fell, the Models would fall with her and that’s not something I was looking forward to.

As Luke & Jeff got lost again, Sam & Renae finished cutting the first slice. But as Anastasia & Chris started working on the second one, all the other teams caught up. For Anastasia, ‘there was blood, sweat and tears’, as Renae said. I was never a fan of her team, but just this time, I really hoped she would be able to pull through. She wasn’t. Chris announced they give up. I started getting mad, but then Sam announced they were only given a two hour penalty, since they at least cut one slice. The Lovebirds, however, got a four hour one

Although they checked in first, The Models were dropped to third place when Luke & Jeff and Tyler & Nathan came in first and second. At this point, I was fairly confident this would be the last leg for Chris and Anastasia, but there still was a slight chance that Tom & Matt and Dave & Kelly will take longer to slice their log. After all, Kelly is not the strongest woman out there and Dave is over 50 years old. In the end though, both teams checked in before the Lovebirds, thus eliminating them.

Usually, the team that finishes in 6th place is one I really like (e.g.: The Cowboys, Gary & Mallory, Steve & Allie), so imagine how thrilled I was to actually get a break this season. On top of that, Chris & Anastasia were the only team I really didn’t like, so this was the best possible outcome.

Next week, ‘one team won’t make it to the Pit Stop’. The certitude with which Grant said that, coupled with the clips of Sam having a breakdown really worry me. Hopefully, next week is a non-elimination leg, because we all know there is one left for this season. Personally, I hate it when they wait until the last moment and have it at the final four stage.


Till next week.


Posted on July 5, 2011, in The Amazing Race and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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