1. I imagine the show’s budget isn’t great enough for too many countries, so I’m thinking they’ll be hanging out in south-east Asia for a couple of episodes yet.

    I was shocked that the Gen Z siblings were the first eliminated. I would’ve thought they were way more competent but maybe they really were lost without their phones? Not so surprised that the nuns left early, though. Bless their hearts, but I just don’t think they were likely to keep up with everyone else. I don’t imagine the instagramers will be here much longer, but I’m waiting for their moment of self-destruction. Surely it can’t be far away?

  2. The show, again, breaks from the American tradition. Instead of leaving from last episode’s pit stop (that gorgeous temple on the river banks, up near the DMZ), the teams get taken back down to Seoul and set off towards Hanoi from there (in the same order). I imagine that’s a budget consideration. Keeping all the teams together allows them to catch the one single flight (and it cuts down on airport shenanigans that we then have to recap afterwards). There seemed to be footage of the teams having a wander through Seoul, and I wish we got more footage like that, of the teams not racing, and just having some fun exploring.

    I also like the editing trick, that the trip from Seoul to Hanoi takes about five seconds on the show, but in actual fact, was probably 12 hours of travel. They didn’t arrive in Vietnam until late at night, so I always wonder where the teams spend the night? If they pool their money and head to a nearby hostel, or just hang out until dawn?

    • Actually in the Amercian version there are very few times they book their own flights these days. Although they don’t usually transport them between legs.
      I do miss airport shenanigans, but if it means mor TAR on my screen i can live with that!

  3. Moving through Hanoi, most of the teams are totally confused by the water dragons puppet show (how cool did those puppets look?). I think, the goal in that situation (particularly when you’re dealing with a language you don’t speak) would’ve been to work together. There are so many teams still in the race that an alliance or two isn’t going to hurt you.

    Anyway. Despite the airport arrival, the puppet show shenanigans, and half the teams getting lost, the Orange Footballers, the QLD sisters, and the Tiny Red Asian Siblings all wind up back at the front of the pack. This was how things mostly progressed in Korea, so I think we have some early favourites. I loved how the Footy Boys were dead last as they left the airport … but in the space of 12 hours, are back in front. That’s a strong team. And I think it would be foolish to underestimate the QLD sisters, too.

    Once again, the nurses wind up trailing at the back.

    And there’s a U-turn ahead! Honestly, I’m not fond of these sorts of tactics (the Yield was another one the show used to use) that let teams aggressively attack the other teams. A U-turn, used right, can be an instant knock-out, and I much prefer the teams to be knocked out by the rigours of the race. But … it’s part of the game, we just have to make our peace with it.

    • I actually prefer when the u turn is used to stop a top team from winning the leg or knocking them back to the back of the pack.
      Using it on an already weak team is a bit of a waste in my opinion, not to mention their poor excuse for wanting to use it. They clearly didn’t follow the instagrammers to turn around so they didn’t lose any time and have been ahead of them the entire race.

    • I like u-turns generally, and in this case it delivered some badly-needed karma. Pity it didn’t work completely.

      I think usually a double u-turn works better, as it pits two teams against each other, instead of nearly guaranteeing the u-turned team leaves.

        • Yes, but a non-elimination is not guaranteed on a u-turn leg – it is just commonly that way. Either way, the u-turned team should be put at a disadvantage for the next leg, which will make it hard for them to come back.

  4. So the teams complete the rowing or snail detour … and hit a food-themed roadblock challenge. Not only that, but it’s a needle-in-a-hay-stack luck-based challenge. That’s, like, the two worst things ever on the Amazing Race, crammed into the one task.

    Personally, I’m iffy on eating challenges. It’s okay to test the Racers, in terms of foreign cuisine or unusual foods, but asking them to eat until they’re physically sick? In, say, a foreign country where a lot of people live below the poverty line and can barely afford to feed their families? Like I said, I’m iffy on it. This one had the extra-frustrating feature of being luck-based … so while the sisters are stuck eating 20 packets of rice, the footy boys how up and find a coin on the very first go, meaning they don’t have to eat a thing! That was just pure luck.

    • Yes I don’t like those ones either. I felt so sorry for that poor girl struggling on her 20th packet & 2 people rock up & find it on their first go. Both were men too, who usually would eat more than a woman. I found it rather cruel. I remember the US one a few years ago they had to eat chocolates till they found something in the chocolates. Same thing some people getting sick eating so many before finding it & others got it first or second go.

    • An occasional pure-luck challenge helps add interest to the show, because it can completely change the running order. You would expect that some team at the back would catch a lucky break, but this time it put the strongest team back in front.

      Not too many of them, though, maybe only 1-2 per season.

  5. It is amazing how often, on this show, that rowing challenges will completely destroy teams. It’s happened in more seasons than I can remember. The very first thing you should do, when you’re cast to be on TAR, is learn how to drive a manual vehicle. The *second* thing you should do? Go to the nearest lake and get some rowing practice.

    Mad props to the boys for winning every leg, so far. They are putting a target on their backs, but if you’re at the front of the pack, who cares? I’m not sure what the record is, for teams who’ve won the most legs in a row, but it’s put them in a great position at the weaker teams all get eliminated miles behind them.

    And damn it, the U-turn didn’t knock out the instagramers.

    • I wonder if, next time, Viv and Joey will reconsider giving help to the boys as per their alliance? Last time, they were ahead (decoding the fish), told the boys what to look for, and hey presto, the boys jump ahead of them.

  6. The show actually made the mistake of showcasing the two Muslim girls at the start of the episode … with an extended segment showing their background and really focussing on their relationship. So, to avid watchers of TAR, it probably wasn’t a surprise to see them eventually come in last place.

    And it was the first non-elimination leg. Oh, I love it when they trick you like that. And it was good, because it would’ve been horrible to get eliminated after a luck-based challenge like that miserable eating task.

    Meanwhile, the instagramers climb a mountain unnecessarily, to get to the pit stop. They are pretty useless, aren’t they? Still, they survived the U-turn.

    Anyway, tomorrow night, the teams are still in Vietnam, which means there isn’t going to be any airport travel to shuffle the teams around. So the Muslim girls are still very much in danger of elimination. At the other end of the scale, the top two teams have stayed the top two. It’ll be interesting to see how long the Footy Boys and the Tiny Siblings can keep ahead of everybody else.

    • Not sure if you were tongue-in-cheek about the non-elimination, but I tend to expect a u-turn episode to be a non-elimination, as that seems to be the pattern. It just helped a different team this time.

  7. What’s the point of having a U- turn and then an non elimination leg.

    Flight from Seoul to Hanoi is about 5 hours.

    • Well, if you use it properly, you can knock a team down to the bottom of the pack, and keep them there. I mean, the next leg looks like it’s still in Vietnam, so the last-placed team isn’t going to have many opportunities to move ahead.

    • I’m with you littlepetal. They might all end up having to wait at an airport anyway giving them all a chance to play catch-up.

      • It’s another reason I don’t like them much. They exist to manufacture drama, between the teams. Like the QLD Sisters and Footy Boys said, if you’re in one of the leading teams, what’s the point? Might as well just keep doing what you’re doing.

  8. I practically cried when the Muslim team didn’t get eliminated. It would have been so unfair for that horrible challenge. I HATE those rice parcels – yuck yuck yuck. And to wash it down with that strong coffee – even worse. I would have been sick throughout.

    Loved the Vietnamese grandma smugly rowing with her feet. That was fun.

    The footy boys seem actually nice as well as good at it. I like them partnering with tiny siblings.
    Wondering if the deadly duo will be targeted by the insta idiots for using UTurn? Love the way female insta idiot said it was because they were a threat – um, no toots – it’s because you were a cow and deliberately tried to trip them up first leg!

    the trailer makes you think the Alpaca farmers (fit wife, less fit husband) are in trouble. Wonder if that is true?

    Got to say I am very much enjoying it – other than Beau. I find him totally annoying and charm-free. If he could say ONE THING without shouting I’d be grateful. But he is not a good host – not that I have anything to compare it to!

    • Didnt the Alpaca couple got the name for getting onto Alpaca? But that is the Mongolia’s leg. Tonight they are still in Vietnam. Are the producers just spoiling their own show?

      • Yeah the promos show some of the teams with camels which I assume will be in the Middle East so we know they are still in it then.

  9. Getting into AR. Missed the first two episodes but enjoyed the episode last night.
    The host is not great, he just needs to calm down and stop hugging the teams at the pit stop. Be a bit more professional.
    Laughed my head off with the influencers climbing a mountain unnecessarily. Ha ha

  10. The influencers and the nurses are always doing unnecessary chores. Wonder how long can they last by wasting time.

  11. I thought other TAR let you know the time difference between each teams. This you know how far they are ahead when they start the next leg.

    Also only one leg you get a prize for coming first. Other legs, nothing

    • I’m keeping an eye on the beginning and end of each leg. This leg, they started from the hotel where, presumably, the teams had spent the rest period between legs.

    • Yeah it’s annoying they are not giving the time. I like to know what the time difference is between the teams.

  12. Ah, the Home Town Curse in full effect. The Tiny Siblings speak fluent Vietnamese, and choose the one cab driver who has no idea where their destination, and gets them hopelessly lost. Good times.

    I think it’s a mistake to go for the Fast Forward when you’re not only already at the front of the pack, but you’re due to leave the country next episode, so any advantage you’re going to gain, will be temporary and pointless. Anyway.

  13. I watched the last half of the ep live, which was a mistake as all the ads were for One Born Every Minute and I kept tearing up

  14. How beautiful was that gigantic temple complex in Vietnam? That was gorgeous. See, that, right there, is why I love this show. I’ll add that to my “places to visit” list.

    So the Footy Boys manage their 4th leg win in a row? Nice. They are very much the team to beat. And they got lost, finding the incense challenge (earlier in the day), so for them to be capable of making up for lost time (and not once, but they’ve been doing that for four legs now) is a very powerful thing, in this game. And you know, there have been seasons where the early favourites have been awful people, but the boys seem so kind and pleasant (with a really supportive, healthy friendship), so I’m hoping they go very far indeed.

    The instagramers made up for lost time, but still managed to get lost finding the bell tower (allowing the sisters to overtake them and come in second). It seemed like the Footy Boys were a long way behind them, so they must’ve gotten pretty badly lost.

    Meanwhile, the nurses continue to be bafflingly disappointing. They were absolutely terrible at the mask-painting. Sure, they’re not artists, but they’re nurses, they’re supposed to excel in stressful, intense, time-critical situations.

    Also, a lot of task-switching, this episode. It’s always a risky proposition.

  15. So the Muslim girls were just too far behind to make up the difference, and get eliminated tonight. They seemed like good people, so it’s a shame to lose them.

    The Flannel Newlyweds are still happy in their alliance with the Instagramers. Obviously, the Instagramers will throw them under the bus, the second that it’s convenient, and I hope the Newlyweds realise that.

    Not a fan of Mr and Mrs Firefighter, tonight. She got really pushy and dominant, and he just got really passive-aggressive. I want to say that’s Race Fatigue, setting in early … but if they don’t recover, and resolve to communicate better, it’s not going to be a pleasant trip for them.

    Meanwhile, the nurses make it through by the skin of their teeth, again.

    Next week, they’re heading for Mongolia! I imagine that’ll be their last stop in Asia, and they’ll be heading for Europe or Africa next.

    • As an older, bossy woman I wanted to like Mr & Mrs Firefighter but I haven’t been able to warm to them At All. This performance last night was very poor – both of them were snipey and unpleasant.

      What the hell is it with the nurses? Just how incompetent are they? The Muslim women were better really but the extra bundle of incense pushed them over the edge. The nurses surely can’t be long for this?
      I really like the footy boys as they seem to have a really pleasant vibe – they say things like “let’s just take this in” and “is that respectful” which makes them seem not just competitors but decent humans as well.
      The sisters are great too – they are surely going to be there for a while.
      Dislike to the insta idiots.

  16. Yep. It was disappointing to see the firefighters sniping, in particular her. I have such great respect for firies.
    There are a few teams I am liking but my honourable mention award tonight goes to NT because of their pluck (haha who says pluck) during the fast forward. Love a girl who gets poked in the eye with a stick, but doesn’t cry.

    Did anyone else notice the weirnnd way they held their stilts? No wonder they kept falling. We used stilts as kids and you hold the poles just to the front of your armpits.
    But having said that, I stilt (🤪) would have chosen mask painting.

    • The bamboo must’ve hit her with some force, too, because in the subsequent shots, you could see the bruise there on her face, the poor girl.

      I think the stilts was one of those things that had a natural learning curve to it. But it still would’ve required some co-ordination. Painting the masks can’t have been *that* difficult, but the nurses were just dreadful at it.

  17. I’m losing interest. I think because this isn’t actually a race yet. With everyone starting at the same time each day this is just a series of eliminations until the last leg/episode. The order they finish in each day provides no advantage/disadvantage. As long as they don’t come last who cares, fresh start the next day, anyone’s game. I much prefer the original version.

    • I think they do stagger start but it is not shown by how much. Thus it may not be the same difference in time to when they finished at the pit stop.

  18. Good episode last night with difficult tasks except for the face painting.
    The grey T-shirts are not a flattering colour for the Alpaca farmers and how bossy and unpleasant was she. When he said , ‘They nearly got divorced after today ‘ I thought there was more problems in their relationship. For a firefighter she panicked quickly and is very impatient.
    Like the NT couple especially the wife, what an encouraging energy she has and inner toughness. I would have cried like a baby girl after being flicked by the nylon strap in my eye. She was lucky it missed her eyeball and struck her on her upper brow.
    Like the two young footballers and the skinny sisters. The nurses will go next, they are too slow at everything, which is a surprise because as a nurse you have to work quickly and efficiently to complete your job.

  19. In all the seasons I have watched this is the first time I have seen the Fast Forward taken, and won, by a team at the back of the pack. Usually, the first (and maybe the second) teams attempt the Fast Forward and I can’t remember a team who gave up on it before, and switched back to the slow lane. Actually, it seems to me that the flannel team are very quick to switch – not sure if it is a good tactic or a sign of a lack of persistence.

    Very smart of the NT couple to realise that the FF was still an option, and then brilliant tenacity to pull it off. This was the same challenge (albeit a bit shorter) that sent Team Fun (US) out due to heat exhaustion. I love this team – great respectful relationship, love of their child and loving towards the Vietnamese kids, hard-working and kind.

    So far, while I am really enjoying the series, it does feel like TAR Lite. The cost cutting is quite obvious, and a lot of little important details have been left out. Also, except for the last episode, the challenges all felt a little dumbed down. Survivor Aus did this too (but are getting better) and The Chase Aus has easier questions. Do producers think we are unintelligent or less competent, or is it about making a new show easier until we all become superfans?

    • “The cost cutting is quite obvious, and a lot of little important details have been left out.”

      Yes! If there was one criticism I could make of the series, it’s that it really does feel like “TAR … on a budget”. I don’t mind the lack of prizes for first place finishes (certainly not when it’s being dominated by a single team), but the pit-stops are questionable (I don’t think they’ve left once from the place they’ve arrived. Last night, the starting mat was the hotel where they’d spent the night) and they’re not giving us the times, either.

      They all flew to Seoul on the same flight before they even started the Race, and then all got the same flight to Vietnam. I get that airport shuffle is expensive and time-consuming, but if you take the mad scramble for flights out of the race, that’s a huge element of the show. We’ll see what happens when they get to Mongolia, next episode.

      I haven’t minded the challenges, though. And Beau did say the season had a curve, in terms of setting the more difficult challenges, the further through the Race we go.

  20. We had some great home made stilts as kids, and the top must be Infront of your arms. I just googled and Colin the Clown suggests likewise. Their balance was all wrong last night. If the stilts are short, they can nestle under your arm pits but our stilts were long. When they don’t fit under your arms, you hold them close to your body and in front.

    The elimination order of this TAR is fairly predictable ATM. It will heat up once the nurses have gone. I hope those nurses don’t work in Emergency. 🤪

    • I thought the instas would be gone by now, at least ahead of the mother-daughter. Unfortunately they look like they are bedding in.

      Yes, the nurses are not very good advertisements for the profession. It is an assumption/stereotype, based on their performance, but they may be AINs, possibly in aged care.

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