Monthly Archives: June 2012

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!

Advertisements

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.

TAR Australia: ‘So nice to know we were on the same bus’

The second episode of TAR: Australia saw the teams travel to New Delhi, India for a fun day of diverse activities! There were turbans, Bollywood dancing (and acting) and holy crap! (Get it? Get it? The cows are sacred in India, so that would make… eh, never mind!)

Apparently, I was wrong about how the U-Turn would work this season. Teams didn’t have to vote this leg, so my new guess is that it will only happen on legs which feature the U-Turn. But you know what I was right about? James & Sarah fighting. Still, that’s not as impressive because… did anyone NOT see this coming? I am certain there is a much bigger fight waiting for us down the road.

All teams caught the same flight (or bus, if you’re Lucy) to New Delhi, where the first task was to unwrap and search the turbans worn by a large number of men for one that said ‘correct’. Personally, I think with a bit of imagination, they could have found a better word to print on the turbans, but that’s just me. The best part of the challenge was when Steve&Paul fell to last place, having been beaten by even the ‘blonde bimbos’, as they called Jo&Michelle. I can’t stand them, I just can’t.

 

Chocolate Milk

 

The Detour this week was a choice between milking a cow and making 50 dung fuel bricks using just their hands – the same task as in Unfinished Business, only this time around people were not given any gloves. A lot of teams chose to milk a cow and only Sticky&Sam really struggled. They’re one of my favorite teams, so I was a little worried when they switched Detours, but my fears were unfounded. They were able to make up some time and were the first to leave, despite Lucy&Emilia being there longer.

Just to make sure they would leave the Detour last, Emilia told Paul&Steve how to make their bricks stick to the wall as soon as they discovered it. But why? Why would you do that? I’m all for helping others at this stage, as long as it doesn’t hurt your race, but not when you are one of two teams at a challenge. How do you know you’re not last? I hate having to agree with Paul, but it was a ‘rather dumb error’. Nevertheless, their description of the challenge was all sorts of hilarious: ‘Literally there was a cow and its poo, and you had to put your hand into the poo […], so essentially we’re making like a pasta dough with poo and hay’.

 

Lights!Camera!Action!

 

The last challenge of the episode required teams to travel to Old Fort, perform a Bollywood dance and recite a Hindu script. I find it a bit weird that so far, we haven’t had a Roadblock. What’s up with that?

The script teams had to recite was equal parts amusing and horrific. One person was about to move to Adelaide to start a new life, so the other cried because ‘it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to’. What? I sincerely hope that part was made up specifically for the Race and is not included in any sort of film.

Several teams struggled with either the dance or the script – my heart goes out to Ross&Tarryn; their first attempt looked just about as bad as mine would’ve been. In the end, Sam&Sticky arrived at the Pit Stop in first place, after nailing both tasks. Sweet! Right behind them were cheerleaders Jo&Michelle and hairdressers Sue&Teresa. Both teams keep surprising me; after having such good placements in the first leg, I was sure they would screw up a bit this leg. Good for them that they didn’t, but I’m not sure I like them very much.

The first eliminated team: Adam&Dane

Ross&Tarryn came in fourth, followed by Paul&Steve. Adam&Dane originally arrived at the mat in sixth place, but were issued a 30 minute penalty for having sold personal items. It came down to them, Lucy&Emilia and 3 minutes on the clock and I was convinced the sisters were out. Just like last week, I would’ve been crushed. Luckily though, the planets aligned for them, as they were able to squeeze in, grab 10th place and avoid elimination. One of my favorite teams winning first place while another NOT being eliminated? The perfect episode.

That meant it was the end of the road for Adam&Dane. They seemed like nice guys, but there are much more colorful personalities than them, so I wasn’t quite sad to see them go.

All in all, I thought this was a fantastic episode. I’m looking forward to the next one. And, I’ve decided on my Ideal Final Three. First of all, Sticky&Sam. After that, Ross&Tarryn. Finally, I can’t help but root for Emilia&Lucy, despite their not quite impressive overall performance. They’re hilarious.

TAR Australia:’I see whingeing in your face’

It has been one year, but The Amazing Race: Australia finally returned on the 30th with its second season. How I’ve missed this version of the Race (and the accents)! Based on the first episode, I think there’s a very good chance of this season being even better than the first one.

There are two new twists this season and I’m excited about both of them. One of them is that teams are now required to vote each leg for who should be U-Turned. Technically this is not something completely new, as it’s been used before on the Israeli version of TAR. However, seeing how I’ve never watched that, I’m really excited to see how it plays out.

The second is called a Salvage Pass. It’s awarded to the team that arrives at the mat first and consists of a choice of an hour’s head start at the beginning of the next leg or saving whoever places last that leg. This gives the team that receives it a HUGE advantage; if used properly, you could know out a strong team AND give yourself a boost for the next leg. Or you could get rid of an annoying team… or keep a likable one… so many possibilities! What I wonder is if there will be more of these handed out during the Race. It could be a more pleasant alternative to the non-elimination legs!

Another thing I’m extremely pleased with is the cast. Once again, the casting team has done a fine job of putting together an interesting & diverse group; quite a few teams stood out already. There were Sue&Teresa, the hippie-hairdressers with a tendency to get angry, James&Sarah as the reincarnated Chris&Anastasia (they will bicker and they will fight and I’ll be loving every minute of it), sisters Lucy&Emilia, twins Michelle&Jo and flatmates Sticky&Sam.

The episode itself was brilliant, with the first challenge already being more exciting than the entire finale of TAR 20. The Race kicked off in Sydney, with the teams being required to navigate their car out of a huge puzzle car park, ‘Unblock me’ style. They could only drive in a straight line, which meant teams who got there early would have more work to do. Worth noting about this challenge was Sarah and her ridiculous outfit – more fitting for a promenade than the beginning of a race around the world.

Annoying, overconfident workmates Paul&Steve were the first to finish the challenge, followed by Sticky&Sam and -shockingly enough- the blond twins. I was sure they would be the bimbo type, since Sam&Renae did so well last Race, but in fact they ran an overall pretty good leg.

Manila, the Philippines

The first location teams flew to was Manila, the Philippines, where they were required to eat 8 balut eggs per team. Some teams chocked, but none more so than the twins, who went from first to last. I’m not sure if I like them yet, so I wasn’t too sad because of that. Who I did feel bad for? Sticky&Sam. They seem like genuine, nice human beings and already they encountered bad luck. They spent all their money on the cab ride to the challenge, so they had to ask James&Sarah for some cash… who refused, got in a cab and left them there. Therein lies the reason I can’t stand them. It’s only leg one! You don’t need to be a jerk at this point.

As all seemed lost for Sticky&Sam… I’ve no idea what happened, because the video had a missing part and skipped to the middle of the Detour. One thing that happened during that time, though is karma. Sticky&Sam arrived in fourth place at the Detour, while Sarah&James fell to last place!

The Detour was a choice between learning and performing a dance ritual -which in the end, I think only the hairdressers completed- and entering a muddy pen and catching four pigs. Despite certain people taking some rather amusing falls (Sarah, obviously was one of them), teams didn’t really struggle with this.

It was the last challenge where they did: teams had to build a raft and paddle it across a bay to the Check-in Mat. While some teams had little to no trouble, others’ rafts fell apart and they had to start over. Dane&Adam were one of them; they almost finished first, only to fall to 9th place. Paul&Steve also had trouble building the raft, which put them at the back of the pack with sisters Lucy&Emilia. In the end, it was father-and-daughter team Ross&Tarryn who placed first and scored $10,000 and the Salvage Pass.

Between the sisters and Paul&Steve, I was definitely rooting for the sisters. They’re charming, funny and likable, whereas the workmates annoy me – Paul especially. I know Lucy&Emilia don’t have much of a shot at winning this whole thing, but I’d like them to hang on for as long as possible. Once they asked a local to help them build the raft (which was very clever, since the clue didn’t specify it wasn’t allowed), I knew I’d be sad if they left. Despite leaving before Paul&Steve, they managed to check in last. Thankfully, Ross&Tarryn chose to save them using the Salvage Pass. I never like it when a likable team is eliminated first, so I’m glad they’re getting a second chance.

All things considered, I thought this was a great start to the season. My three favorite teams as of now are Sticky&Sam, Lucy&Emilia and… I’ll decide on the third one next week, after the first James-Sarah meltdown.

%d bloggers like this: