We’re back for another episode of our ‘spin off show’ as we provide you a full recap of this weeks episode of The Amazing Race Australia season 3 including full written analysis and our weekly podcast episode with Ben and the Ozlets giving you their unique take on all things to do with the Australia vs New Zealand themed season!
Ben and the Ozlets (or ARzlets as they are sometimes referred for this episode) sit down to discuss their thoughts on the episode and go over their predictions from early in the season but also what they think will happen next week and who is in the box seat to win!
Each week we will also bring you a full written review of the episode from the mind of ozlet Alex Morella! Over to you Alex:
Previously on…The Amazing Race
The Kiwis won a tug of war, Second best mates dominated through Christchurch and Lord of the Rings Country, and the Hulk Puppies narrowly beat BBBs to send the Busty Beauties (who showed they did lack a bit of brains) back to Oz.
So we’ve got 9 teams left, who will be taking off in this order:
Second Best Mates (Raspberry and Coke) – John and Murray
Fitness Mums (Carla and Hereni)
Creepy Siblings (Emily and Jono)
Nurse Boys (Daniel and Ryan)
Rocket Todds (Rocket Mum and Rocket Todd)
Team Vanilla (Bloody Jarrod and Ash)
Feisty Friends/Aston Shuffle (Aston and Froggy)
Fosters (Jesse and Cat)
Hulk Puppies (Hulk Puppy and Sally)
More nicknames are sure to come as we continue racing!
We’re somewhere near the Southern Alps in New Zealand…and…there’s already drama…where are the Second Best Mates? They’ve slept in!!!
Raspberry & Coke are still in the Fridge (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
So…Fitness mums to lead us off!
Taking advantage (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where everyone will have to eat Fried Tarantulas (I wish Grant tried one to show them how easy it is)
Creepy Siblings take off shortly afterwards, followed by the Nurse Boys and Rocket Todds
Nurse Boys are excited to explore the world and experience things…they’re not here to win! Good to hear your excuses already! Does anyone want to win this thing besides the dudes that are still sleeping in???
Second Best mates depart 5th… an hour after their scheduled start…yet don’t seem bothered by this…come on lads! This is serious business here! You didn’t just let one team by…YOU LET FOUR TEAMS BY!!! For a team that wants to win…there’s really not a lot of urgency there…just a hint of complacency after leg one…never ends well when that happens lads!
Better late than never (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Team Vanilla, Aston Shuffle and Fosters depart to little fanfare…Bloody Jarrod decides the Bloody Aussies are laid back and enjoying themselves while the Bloody Kiwis are being too Bloody competitive…seriously mate? Firstly…did you watch yourself in the first leg???? Secondly…the best Kiwi side just slept in by an hour and really don’t seem to give a shit??? Who’s the serious ones now????
Nurse Boys briefly speak to Second Best Mates, who don’t seem that bothered (still!) about sleeping in, and this makes the Nurse Boys think they’re strategic and here to win…flawed logic…but at least someone wants to win this thing besides Bloody Jarrod and actually understand that the title does suggest this is a race!
And then Hulk Puppies depart…Sally is still overly excited.
Hulk Puppy hopes being last is an advantage…it isn’t…
All on two flights that conveniently arrive at the same time…saving us the customary 5 minutes being shown at the airport
We get a great scramble out of Siem Reap, while everyone’s racing to the market.
Bloody shop keepers (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Rocket Rodds and Creepy Siblings arrive first, shortly followed by Hulk Puppies and Fitness Mums, Bloody Jarrod and Ash are Bloody lost…both literally and in communication. Nurse Boys and Second Best mates also seem to be struggling, as well as Aston Shuffle…
Eventually Hulk Puppies find the market stall first…and Sally doesn’t really want to eat spiders…before asking if its poisonous…because the twist on the race is they all die in episode two…
Mmmmm isn’t that just delicious (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Rocket Todd doesn’t seem thrilled…Rocket Mum gets through them
Non-competitive Bloody Jarrod looks ready to go, Ash doesn’t like it
Hulk Puppies are doing alright…they’re just excited to eat anything with Protein!
Crunchy (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Rocket Todds finish first…and we’re off to Angkor Wat
Travel by TukTuk to the temple of Angkor Wat and get a digital step counter…
Fosters arrive….and Jesse hates Spiders…and there were Spiders everywhere…
The Second Best Mates just turn up and destroy it…
Fitness Mums seem less than impressed, although Nurse Boys look alright.
Second Best Mates just demolish it…and prove again no one is serious
Fosters don’t think they can do this…eating food is just….no good! Cut to dramatic break!
Jesse and Cat are struggling…asking what kind of Spider it is…they’re tarantulas…but does it really matter mate? JUST EAT IT!
Rocket Todds continue to argue…and Rocket Todd addresses his Mum as Elizabeth Grant! That’s a no-no to do to your mum! But I like the nerve on the young lad! And then they bicker while speaking to a Tuktuk driver…but it worked out…
Might need to check if this one is cooked (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Tastes like Fush and Chups! Just huge Fush and Chups! That’s how the Fosters are doing to get through it! It is not their ideal situation
Cue uncomfortable scenes with Ash, Creepy Siblings and Cat and Jesse…but everyone kind of gets out without any real traumas……until the Aston Shuffle Arrive…and provide the best entertainment of the episode so far! Not only freaking out…but picking up a real one that they think they dropped…absolutely frickin’ glorious!!! They may be slightly obnoxious…but my god they’ve wonderful! Let’s keep them til the end!
Bloody Jarrod is having issues with his bloody tuktuk driver…apparently they’re great salesman and only tell you what you want to hear…this guy would not be out of place in Bali all through the summer…bloody ridiculous it is!
Creepy Siblings decide to go straight to Angkor Wat instead of going to the Tourist Ticketing Booth…and freak out…crisis…but it’s the middle of the night…nothing’s open
Cut to more great scenes of Aston Shuffle trying to eat tarantulas…they succeed!
A sign! (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
No one made the ticket window…although Second Best Mates decided to try and convince the Rocket Todds they did get the tickets…i do think there is such a thing as overplaying…this ‘psychological warfare was a bit much…and definitely not worthy of a dramatic Channel 7 ad break normally utilised for dramatic disasters…this was not one of them…but in any case…all to play for at 8am! We hear the Nurse Boys still don’t want to win but like to engage with people…good people…Froggy gives us a great indication of the time…she can be crass…but her sarcasm is just wonderful!
Everyone got pedometers at 8am with their tickets…I don’t know why…something about a bonus…
And it was on! Tuktuk racing should be in the Olympics…
Rocket Todds cut off Team Vanilla and Aston Shuffle and apparently that pisses people off…I personally didn’t see much in it…pretty sure everyone was trying to do the same…but we did get another ‘Eat a Dick’ from Froggy
Eat a Dick Count is up to two! Two-faced bitch comment was a bit nuts
Rocket Todds arrive and walk…so Bloody Jarrod passes them…and cue many teams running frantically
Emily from Creepy Siblings cracks it and has a wife/girlfriend style freak out for…a small fall…not even enough to laugh at her fall…just…a small fall…but she freaked out a bit…Fosters were nurturing to her…possibly so they can adopt her after the race to save her from her brother and the law…but…it’s apparently because they’re just nice Kiwis…they would’ve stopped for most teams I think…the patriotism thing didn’t mean a lot…they just saw a pretty girl in distress…
Hulk Puppies arrive at the Clue box first…and…it’s a roadblock!
Roadblock – Who is a Zen Master?
Grant the boss doesn’t follow dress codes (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Count how many monks are wearing yellow and red beads…and then climb the stairs give the answer to one of the monks…apparently one of the monks was trying to trick them…only one will tell them if it’s right…because apparently that’s a thing…
So Sally is in for the Hulk Puppies, Ash for Team Vanilla, Ryan for Nurse Boys,
Jarryd mentions it’s a bloody easy task…cue future disappointment when Ash struggles at it…Ryan brought a counter from home…well played lad…for someone here for the experience…that’s a fucking smart move!
Cue addresses that this roadblock is hard…
A thrilled local (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
And Bloody Jarrod, Hulk Puppy and Nurse Daniel have decided to make a ‘pact’…not an alliance…a ‘pact’…to stick together til the end, as the three Aussie teams…as getting rid of an Aussie side could affect them…so…the Rocket Todds…you don’t have any other sides to get rid of…and of course…most importantly…THIS IS THE AMAZING RACE!!! IT’S NOT ABOUT MAKING PACTS!!! Sorry…I hate the ideas of pacts or alliances in The Amazing Race…it doesn’t benefit you that much…you just think it does…I’d follow a team whether they like it or not…I wouldn’t say we’re aligned though…I’m just…being lazy and following them
Jarrod doesn’t want the Bloody Kiwis to win…Bloody Patriots…they’re sick of the Kiwis winning everything…so….one leg…and a tug of war…they’ve got you bloody rattled already mate…it’s like…day two!
Ash has the first guess…and picks the right monk (which is the left monk) but guesses wrong…a few more teams arrive, and Rocket Mum, Jesse, and Jono are going to join the counting game
Bloody subtitles (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Cue many wrong guesses
Carla and Hereni are lost…and at the wrong side of Angkor Wat…
Second Best Mates and Aston Shuffle turn up…and the Second Best Mates are worried by the ‘freaky deaky’ nature of the task…surely they wouldn’t….
The ‘pact’ decide to work together…to no success
Froggy gives us the wonderful pun of a cheeky monk-y…I love puns!
Both are thrilled to find out Red Foo has chosen them for the next round (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
And then…no…surely not…all the teams are confused and think they’re stupid…Bloody Jarrod has decided they’re bloody breaking all the bloody rules…but no…on leg two…early on…they’re blowing the express pass…Nurse Boys kind of approve as they think Second Best Mates are stupid…but…kind of explain they wouldn’t have done it on this task…so…are these Nurse Boys here to win or to have an experience…MAKE UP YOUR MIND…and yes…there is a correct answer (it’s to win…duhhh)
Next Clue: Travel by Tuk Tuk to Tjoup Snae Restaurant and take a reading from pedometers…then get another clue.
More psychological warfare from the Second Best Mates…they’re all shaking in their boots.
Fitness Mums continue to search for the monks…and make friends with two random monks…even emptying the guy’s photo album…before realising they’re not quite at the right place…
Hope the Monks can read English (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Cue more wrong guesses and amusing mind powers from Aston to Froggy…to no success
And then the controversy!!! Ash gets blocked on the stairs by Rocket Mum! And she won’t let her past! Bloody Kiwis…wait they’re Aussies…deal with this one bloody Jarrod…
#stairetiquette (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Ok…so here’s my two cents….wait your fucking turn bloody Ash…there’s such a thing as stair etiquette…especially with older ladies…and there really was no need at this point to piss off others…so…I get Elizabeth did block her…but…she was on the stairs first…I really had no problem with it…just leave it Ash and get back in the Kitchen!
I can say that because bloody Jarrod actually seems to have her for that…bloody Aussies and their ultra-traditionalism…so…just wait in line…it’s not like anyone else has left…
It seems to piss off other people…Bloody Jarrod again proves I wouldn’t be friends with him at school…and is annoyed people are playing the game…yet he was just making a pact…bloody hypocrites…calling for the large arse was too much though…I thought the Aussies were supposed to be the laid back ones mate??? Aston Shuffle aren’t impressed either…but they pushed in back in Chistchurch and took BBB’s map and were pretty horrible there so…one…I am surprised this annoys them and two…eat a dick!
Rocket Todd doesn’t defend it either…I mean at least sell it mate! She’s your mother and she’s married to Bloody Jarrod…clearly you need to rethink your priorities rocket Todd!
Finally the fitness mums arrive and Hereni is out counting!
After failing for a while…Jono starts playing everyone…and asking for numbers…and eventually…it works…he figures it out…that’s what people should hate! What a creep! I’d tell him to eat a dick…but he told Froggy so…she wouldn’t approve.
Jesse is pissed at Jono just ditching them…I would be too…definitely should adopt his sister now!
Emily isn’t thrilled at Jono telling Aston Shuffle…but he says it’s because they suck and they are easy to beat later…now there’s a legitimate strategy…work with the spuds…and slaughter them later on…brilliant! Jono also points out Froggy has a big mouth…alright then…
Second Best Mates arrive at Tioup Snae, take a pedometer reading, and open the next clue…it’s time for the first Detour of the season!
(For newbie’s…in the words of Phil….A Detour is a choice between two tasks…each with its own pros and cons…)
Cut to a simply wonderful shot of Grant sitting cross-legged on a little kayak…I want to know who came up with that shot! His kayaker looks unimpressed! Terrific!
Grant’s on a boat (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
In any case the choices are
Shrimp (Gather Shrimps from traps around a smelly, dirty lake, they need 750g)
Shoot (Level a crooked billiard table and sink 5 balls against a pool shark)
Unsurprisingly the Second Best Mates choose Shoot
Creepy Siblings right behind choose Shrimp
Aston Shuffle choose Shoot…happily as the water was…’not drinkable’.
Second Best Mates freak out a lot that they can’t level a table…especially John…who’s just not getting on board…come on mate…Muz still wants you to see him as your best mate…just get on board mate!
John freaks out…another dramatic ad break! We come back from a few messages to see that the Second Best Mates are doing fine…
#besties (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Back to the Roadblock…and Ash chooses wrong…but everyone else gets it in a row…so…it’s pretty tight after the front 3
At the Detour, Creepy Siblings have a great system going, where Emily gets all shrimpy and wet by flattening the shrimp…and she also gets caught in the net…but it’s ok!
On the road…Bloody Jarrod and Sour Ash are still bitching about Rocket Mum…who has no friends apparently…sadly for Team Vanilla…they have no fans cheering them on…It’s great to see Daniel and Jesse getting their pedometers closer in the Tuktuks…clever thinking…it’s the little victories!
Playing pool now…Second Best Mates play like they’ve done it all their life…they probably have…nailing 5 balls pretty quickly…with the pool shark getting none…they don’t think they’ll be welcome back…I chuckled mildly…like…extremely mildly…
So it’s off the the PIT STOP
PIT STOP: Baphuon Temple – Which is back at Angkor Wat….there’s clearly nowhere else to go in Cambodia…
Grant’s house (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
The Creepy Siblings finish pretty shortly afterwards at the Shrimp, the Second Best Mates are worried
Everyone else arrives to write down Pedometer numbers…can they just cheat? They only have to write it down!
It’s tight between the Second Best Mates and the Creepy Siblings!
We see the Aston Shuffle are starting to get the pool table in place…before seeing that Bloody Jarrod has decided they’ll be fishing for shrimp…because Sour Ash did such a crap job at the Roadblock he gets to make the decisions…and despite having a pool table he’s quite good at…they’re going into the bloody water to fish for bloody shrimp…Bloody hell Bloody Jarrod…no wonder she’s so sour
Creepy Siblings are excited…and then…they can’t find their tickets…crisis…can’t get in! So…they go and buy more…I mean they got through all this leg pretty comfortably money-wise…they shouldn’t have enough for two sets of tickets should they?
#bugger (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
So Second Best Mates get to the mat first! But…wait…they didn’t pay for their Tuktuk…such rookies!
Creepy Siblings settle their debt and run past them…thinking they have to keep racing…but no…CREEPY SIBLINGS ARE TEAM #1
Cue creepy celebration scenes…it’s a bit…lovey dovey…they also win $10,000 worth of flights…they can go on a romantic holiday now I guess…
ZOMG WE WON! (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
TAKE ME NOW! (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
MY BAD SORRY FORGOT YOU WERE THERE GRANT (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR PLATINUM!? (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
YES BITE ME THERE! (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
SAVE IT FOR LATER (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Second Best Mates made a $10,000 mistake…they made several on reflection…Oversleeping by an hour…trying to play pointless mind games at the ticket office…burning their express pass…and not paying their tuktuk driver when the clue said PIT STOP!!! Seriously…such amateurs…In any case…Second Best Mates are now the Second Best Team…
At the detour…most teams look to be doing Shoot, except Rocket Todds and Team Vanilla…where Bloody Jarrod has a go at Sour Ash for complaining about him making a terrible decision because she took two hours longer than necessary at the roadblock…so they could’ve caught heaps of shrimp…or you know…just gone and done the other one with a pool table…which Sour Ash reminds you that you have…and then he gets wet…bloody hell you’re a funny one Bloody Jarrod…also…Sour Ash said Pool Tabling…ha!
Nurse boys find the levelling of the table quite easy…and then top the ball…stick to nursing lads! Aston Shuffle don’t know how pool works…but that’s all good…Nurse Boys fly through it…as do Hulk Puppies, Fosters…and Aston Shuffle get through it as well!
The Teacup Ride at Cambodia Disneyland isn’t as popular as the US one (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Fosters have a nice moment on the Lake looking at all the kids and are reminded of their own…I wasn’t sure what to make of them before hand…but I really like them and hope they go far!
Quick cutaway and the Nurse Boys got to Angkor Wat in about 30 seconds…and they’re team number #3…plus…a bonus…their step counters were the closest…so….do they win a dorky prize…no…in fact they GET A 30 MINUTE HEAD START NEXT LEG…because they did a bit of stepping in a Tuktuk…
………Sometimes Australia….you just go a bit too far with the novelty shit!
Back to the Detour…Bloody Jarrod and Sour Ash break the net! So Bloody Jarrod has an epiphany and realises he should be doing what he has always been able to do!
Rocket Todds are having more luck…but then…they stacked it…and Rocket Mum is swept out…and they’re both in the smelly water…and…oh dear…there’s something wrong…bits are coming out of Rocket Mum’s arm! We need a space doctor! Or…a medic…a medic will do..
Fitness Mums start sinking…and they have to switch to the pool task! Bloody Jarrod and Sour Ash have gone to where they should’ve gone to start with…and knock the pool challenge out in several minutes…which continues to baffle everyone as to why on Earth they thought it was a good idea to try the Shrimp detour first…Bloody hell Bloody Jarrod!
Rocket Todds also switch…and find the going a bit harder than the Fitness mums.
Cut to the pit stop…and Hulk Puppies are in as team number 4…with Fosters following them right in!
Fitness Mums finish the task, while Rocket Todds continue to bicker…and Elizabeth manages to pot both the white and the ball she was trying to pot…and while this is happening FITNESS MUMS’ BOAT MANAGES TO SMOKE AND STOP…that really is a new one! Rocket Todds finish and are chasing!
A piece of your arm seems to be hanging out (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Aston Shuffle swagger in for 6th and Team Vanilla follow in 7th…a very Vanilla finish…
So it’s down to the Fitness Mums and Rocket Todds…in a dramatic moment…with…..Fitness Mums arriving in 8th place…meaning…it’s last place for the Rocket Todds!…But Grant says 9th…and then makes it kind of optimistic…and then delivers the bad news…the Rocket Todds are eliminated (not your smoothest effort Grant! You couldn’t retape that!)
#bugger (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Rocket Todd is proud of his Mum…I am too!
So the finishing order for Leg 2
#1 Creepy Siblings – Made a heap of errors but it didn’t matter…Jono’s sneaky play at the roadblock meant that the siblings won the money for a romantic retreat…*shudders*
#2 Second Best Mates – Speaking of errors…missing the start by an hour…burning the express pass…failing to pay the tuktuk driver right before the pit stop…amateurs…but still a stand out team
#3 Nurse Boys – Just getting it done…while enjoying the experience. They seem to be commenting a lot on other teams ‘playing to win’, which bothers me…but they’ve got the 30 minute head start, and they are very, very switched on…I didn’t back them to last that long…they are proving me wrong so far! Could go all the way!
#4 Hulk Puppies – Not seen much on the leg…but to finish 4th you must’ve done a lot right…looks like they’re clicking well and lack of airtime means a good relationship with no bickering!
#5 Fosters – Glad to see Cat and Jesse get up there! They were fun with their Fush and Chups, and haven’t done much wrong…even if Jesse’s roadblock performances have left a lot to be desired
#6 Aston Shuffle – The most entertaining team of the night! Well…at least at the Spider challenge…where the picking up of an actual living spider instead of the dead one they needed to eat was absolutely hilarious!!! I was in stitches! Still annoying but…they’re kind of a good annoying now…Froggy is hilarious (and if you don’t get the name listen to the podcast!), and while I agree with Jono that they’re not a threat…they’re damn good fun!
#7 Team Vanilla – Bloody Jarrod and Sour Ash…while built up as the Aussie’s great hope…are really actually annoying stereotypical Aussies…and they really are not firing yet…Sour Ash got shitty at the roadblock over a menial issue…and then copped it from Bloody Jarrod who varies between hating teams who are here to win and playing the game…and doing exactly that…bloody hell! The Detour choice was also odd…and the relationship just seems strained…I don’t know how Sour Ash will endure Bloody Jarrod’s continual crap he’ll give her I assume…
#8 Fitness Mums – Really not seen throughout the episode at all…but seemed to turn up at the back a lot…which isn’t a good sign as it’ll happen a lot at airports and that if they’re not careful! Weren’t good at the Detour…need to lift!
Next time: It looks like we’re going to Thailand and Bangkok! And people aren’t thrilled with Second Best Mates…EVEN THEIR OWN KIND…this has never been an issue in any other race…so this whole patriotism thing is a bit much…but…at least there’s some good snarkiness!
Leg Assessment -> Quite enjoyable! There were a lot of moments to take over…and anything with Tuktuks is amazing and fun racing! Still a lot of confessionals!
“What are you doing after you’ve finished? Can I borrow that hat?” (Photo courtesy of Channel 7)
Roadblock -> Challenging…difficult…created controversy…everything a good roadblock should have!
Detour -> Kind of underwhelming…but it did create movement…which is what all good detours do so…can’t consider it a total flop.
Overall…another enjoyable episode that has me happy this series is being done still! The Kiwis are kicking arse! The Aussies are hypocritical…and dysfunctional…to the point where the Kiwis can make several errors and still beat the Aussies…I thought the whole point was to cast crap Kiwi teams so we’d win…poor casting! I like these Kiwis way too much!
Another fun episode although I will have to say those spiders? Ewww no thanks. I would eat pretty much anything presented to me but if I saw those I would be running back to the airport quicker than you could say baa baa black sheep. Was interesting to watch the reactions though and good old Frogmouth and the real spider. That’s entertainment.
The pool playing challenge was one of the most boring and easiest challenges ever. You had to include a ‘level the table’ aspect to make it slightly interesting. How bad are Cambodian’s at pool if they are ‘local pool sharks’? Seriously.
Seems as though despite last week picking the first eliminated contestants as finishing as runners-up, I got one back this week by correctly picking the second team to be eliminated! Great job me! Elizabeth and Todd I’m sad to see go though, they were fun! Especially Elizabeth!
Bring on next week. Oh and Channel 7, how about starting the show at the correctly advertised time yeah? I’m so thrilled to be able to watch Red Foo take his time in choosing which untalented nobody to go home on The X Factor, but I want my Grant fix dammit!
Another week and another Aussie team down – isn’t this going well? Although I fear a Kiwi exodus sometime soon. It was a quieter episode this week but I loved both the roadblock and detour. From New Zealand to Cambodia this week – from woolly to holy, from merino to monk…you get the point. After a scaled back US seasons last time with reduced locations, its great to see the teams moving through airports and different places a bit more frequently. Long may it continue. Raspberry and Coke slept in and slipped down 4 places. Maybe too much bromance time spooning in the hotel room is already taking its toll. So Carla and Hereni were the first to depart, and given where they ended up this leg, its safe to say it wasn’t a good one for them. Other teams filed to the airport in an orderly fashion and all 9 headed to Cambodia. This was a really cool location, and the tasks kind of touched upon what I as a very poorly travelled person kind of thinks about with Cambodia.
It’s funny to me how much people struggle with eating dead spiders or other insects. OK, I’ve never done it but surely they are dead, small, pretty crunchy (apparently dry) – surely with a bottle of water on hand, they can’t be too difficult to digest? The Aussie teams especially should be used to giant spiders, but apparently not. It was our stars of the season so far who made this look easy and John and Muzza bolted in, wolfed them down and buggered off, much to the annoyance of Jarrod (and anything that annoys Jarrod by default makes me happy). This was a fairly obligatory part of the race you would think. What amazed me were just how many spiders there were. Where do they get these things? Are there spider farms? Spider breeders? And do the people of Cambodia normally hang around with spiders attached to them or was this merely an act for the cameras? I suspect the second.
And so to the roadblock. Talk about confusing, not just for the players but at home. Wait, there’s two monks, a naughty and nice one? This brought back memories of watching Labyrinth with the two talking door knockers. Thankfully we didn’t have anyone in David Bowie’s tight pants to complete this picture for me.
But after the last couple of seasons of the US version of TAR, with bland, fairly simple challenges, this was refreshing. The racers were clearly baffled and became irritable and frustrated. I loved Elizabeth’s blocking of Ashleigh on the steps (again, the annoyed Jarrod factor probably helped me enjoy this more). Interesting to see the Aussie teams work together for a patch, while Jono declined to help Jesse even after he had scraped Emily off the road after a fall probably caused by a top heavy imbalance (due to her backpack of course, what were you thinking of?). Instead he helped Aston and Christie, sighting them as a good team to drag along and beat at the end. This brother-sister team are proving to be devious, which will only increase their likeness to the Lannister twins.
Meanwhile, Raspberry and Coke sensed counting was not their strong point (seeing they cant work out numbers on an alarm clock, this seemed a good conclusion) and used their express pass to continue. After a bit of collaborating, the rest of the teams finished the road block in a rush and continued to the detour. For me, I wouldn’t have attempted shrimp catching. Maybe this might have been a good one for our Forest Gump team of John and Murray, but like most others they went for the pool table option. Daniel and Ryan seem about as skilled at pool as I am, but got there in the end too. So our top teams headed for the Pit Stop where (wouldn’t you know it) Raspberry and Coke make another mistake, forgetting to pay their Tuk Tuk driver. Without the express pass, these guys may unravel quickly, but I hope not, they are great TV. This error led to Emily and Jono getting the win and a nice little prize package from Virgin Air. Daniel and Ryan rounded out the podium, again the top rated Aussie team.
Back at the detour, Jarrod gets angry again (yes!) and Elizabeth and Todd capsize their boat and Elizabeth shreds her arm up a bit. Carla and Hereni continue a stellar day of getting lost, and after some confessionals about wanting to be inspirations for others at the start of the episode, I started to think that this team with so much potential were heading out the door. Thankfully, they survived and Todd and Elizabeth were eliminated. I was sad to see this pair go, Elizabeth especially was great fun to watch and slightly crazy in the nicest way possible.
Just one issue for me – I hope Grant can improve his greetings on the pit stop mat. They were delivered without a slickness and energy I would expect from him and this led to a pretty anticlimactic finish when Todd and Elizabeth were eliminated. Hopefully this improves. It’s not a big deal, but the whole episode does build to that last team checking in so it does need a good delivery to cap off the night.
I see in the ratings that there was a big boost in Aussie and a bit of a drop in NZ. Hopefully we keep seeing increases, because the quality of this show is really very good. I think we have 8 very interesting teams left so its well worth tuning in. I have to think Aston and Christie are living on borrowed time (managing to somehow mix a live spider in with your dead, cooked ones really is quite the achievement), but again they are really entertaining so I’m not in any hurry to see them go. So far I’m also really enjoying the bumbling bromance that is John and Muzza and their attempts to be “scheming”. Jarrod is also fun to see get wound up. He’s someone that if you knew him, you would deliberately annoy him just to get a reaction. I could do with less leaping and shrieking from Sally although I have to like the positivity (even if its a bit OTT for me), and Cat and Jesse are really growing on me. I’m starting to see why they were chosen as Jesse especially is such a natural in front of the camera.
One other thing to love about TAR is that editing is always pretty even, with all teams getting their moment and it makes it hard to pick a winner. So far, I have absolutely no idea who the front runners are although you do have to think Jono and Emily will be around a while, with Daniel and Ryan looking consistent too. After next week we can really get a feel for how these teams are starting to look and make some real predictions on who might be our eventual winners. Although the odds are currently in the Kiwis favour. Two Aussie teams down, three to go…
First things first, congratulations Channel Seven on a huge improvement from episode one. If you stick to the format from this episode then you’re definitely on the right track. This week the pace was there, the excitement was there, the difficulty was there and the drama was there. Add to that the fact that the show started at a slightly earlier time and it’s no wonder that ratings improved from the premiere.
This week on the show we got to see some great character exploration that has really changed my thoughts and predictions on how the teams will go. Of all the teams, John and Murray’s chances of winning took a real dive in my eyes. Despite the fact they finished second in the leg, this episode demonstrated really poor decision making in the heat of the moment. It began with the pair sleeping in (which didn’t prove to be a big deal), then we saw them play a pointless trick at the ticket office, followed by a snap decision to use the express pass at the roadblock and a bungle at the pit stop that cost them first place. In regards to the express pass, it’s really there as a safety blanket meant to be used when you’re struggling at a task and are in danger of elimination. By using the express pass this leg, John and Murray have effectively thrown out their backup plan and placed all their faith in the fact that they’ll easily overcome the detours on the next couple of legs. Perhaps even more troubling than their use of the express pass was their alienation of the other teams. With an express pass to give to another team John and Murray should be everybody’s favourites, the team everybody is sucking up to and wanting to help yet they haven’t been able to secure that leverage over the other groups and being friendless at this point could cost them further down the line. Right now they’re reminding me of Paul and Steve from season two of the Australian Amazing Race and having no allies really hindered them leg to leg.
In terms of the challenges, this week was a real step up from the premiere episode. It was great to have the inclusion of a detour this leg, plus the added task of eating the tarantulas really bulked up the episode. I hope we continue to see added tasks thrown in alongside the detours and roadblocks to keep the episodes fresh and help the level of unpredictability week to week. I for one love the mental challenges the race throws at people and the roadblock was a really well thought up challenge that tested the resolve of the contestants. It was unfortunate to see a whole coalition of teams join forces to complete the challenge and hopefully this doesn’t become a reoccurring theme, as it appears to have become in the more recent seasons of the American version of the show. I have no issue with teams sharing hints but when they just give away the answer to everybody it really stifles the competitive nature of the show. I suspect as the weeks progress the teams will become less willing to cooperate.
The detour offered some solid challenges this week as we got to witness the second capsize in as many weeks…ouch! It was good to see more of Daniel and Ryan’s personality this week and they really cruised through the pool table detour and hopefully their 30 min time advantage gained by their pedometer similarities is actually useful in the next leg. Unfortunately, my pre-season prediction came true and Elizabeth and Todd were eliminated in 9th place after provided plenty of highlights once again. I’m sad to see them go, as Elizabeth in particular was fast becoming one of my favourite characters this season. She so obviously loved the experience of the show and she proved to be a whole lot more competitive than I imagined. Two Aussie teams down with New Zealand still at five strong and a u-turn teased in the preview, bring on the next episode!
Tune in next week for our episode 3 recap! Let us know your thoughts on the episode by commenting below!