41 Comments

  1. Well I won’t miss the eliminated couple.
    When I saw the bus trip I began to think I should sign up for next series. Then they mentioned drinking the fermented horse milk. Nope!

  2. Oh dear, the pressure …

    The teams flew from Hanoi to Ulan Bator in Mongolia. The flight information seemed to indicate that it was 3 flights between the two cities, yet all the teams stayed together. Part of the TAR experience is the wild airport shuffle as you scramble for planes to your next destination city, and I’m a bit sad that we seem to have lost that. If it’s for budgetary reasons, I can’t think why (since the teams would have to fly there anyway, why book it for them?). And if it’s to keep the teams close, well, someone seems to have missed the point of the “race” aspect.

    Having said that, I don’t think there’d be many flights into Ulan Bator on a day-to-day basis, so I’m still in the dark about it.

    Anyway, all the teams arrive in Mongolia and everyone leaves from the airport at the same time, so the Race was on. The first stop was a delaying tactic. They had to travel to a war memorial (a gorgeous and gigantic public sculpture, built on the top of a mountain overlooking the city buildings in a wide valley below), and part of the challenge was climbing a lot of steps (in thin air, because Mongolia is already pretty far above sea level).

    From there, they had to catch 1 of 3 chartered buses into the Mongolian plains. The show managed to capture lots of gorgeous scenery, desolate but beautiful windswept grassy tundra and mountains. At least there’s one Race tradition they’re honouring. Showing off beautiful parts of the world.

    The nurses somehow sneaked into the front of the pack, and alongside the Tiny Siblings and the Indigenous team, made it to the destination first, where they were greeted in a ger (a traditional Mongolian hut) by a local family, who honoured them with food and drink. The food looked interesting, the drink — fermented horse milk that was apparently sour and quite fizzy, according to the teams — did not. Once there, the teams had to choose between herding goats, or milking goats.

    Milking the goats sounded like the easier option, but the Indigenous team were there for an hour, and managed practically zero milk.

    The Footy Boys, having been knocked back by the airport arrival, manage to miss the first bus, and travel on the second bus with the QLD Sisters (there may have been a little bit of flirting en route). That left Mr and Mrs Firefighter, the Instagramers and the Newlyweds on the last bus.

    Anyway, the real fun of the episode were the camels. The teams had to pick a camel, and with one partner riding the camel, the other had to lead them through the desert to the Pit Stop, using a compass. Remember how I said that there are some skills you absolutely MUST learn, before doing the Race? Rowing is first, driving a manual vehicle is the second … and learning how to use a compass is the third. The nurses herd their goats the fastest, jump on the camel … and charge off into the Mongolian wilderness, literally heading the exact opposite direction (Beau even points this out in a hilarious voice-over).

    Once again, the Footy Boys overcame a significant handicap, easily rounding up their goats and eventually getting their camel moving, to approach the Pit Stop in first place … but the Indigenous couple arrived, literally, a second before them, and snatch first place out from under them (by a foot). Still, that’s basically five in a row first place wins for the Footy Boys. They left the airport in fifth place, performed a bell-counting task in a beatiful temple and left there in second place, and very nearly checked into the Pit Stop in first place, again, only short by a second. These guys are *good*.

    The Instagramers and the Newlyweds manage to keep fighting (the Newlyweds even manage to accel at the goat milking task, which nobody else could manage). The Instagramers suffered the indignity of losing a taxicab to the QLD sisters, earlier in the day, and take great pleasure in beating the sisters to the mat … all the while interviewing about how the sisters are awful cheats.

    (stealing someone else’s cab isn’t polite, no, but the ultimate discretion lies with the cab driver, doesn’t it? At the bell-counting task, earlier in the day, the Footy Boys shared the answer with the QLD Sisters, and the Instagramers were outraged. Sorry, guys, but while sharing answers might not be particularly smart gameplay? There’s nothing stopping teams from doing that)

    At the back of the pack, the Tiny Siblings get lost (also thanks to difficulties with the compass, and the fact that they cannot see where they’re going through those tall sand dunes) and do a walking tour of Mongolia, but survive.

    Mr and Mrs Firefighter finished the goat herding task quickly enough (drawing on their alpaca-farming experience back home), but with a few teams behind them, Mr Firefighter seemed to really struggle with the camel. And just as they were approaching the mat? The camel kicked him off. He hit the ground hard, and as the show’s medical staff later tell us, he broke 3 ribs.

    Maybe the camel watched the last episode and thought, no, the audience shouldn’t have to listen to these two shouting at each other for the next 2 continents?

    Anyway. Beau had to leave the mat and eliminate them in the medical tent, because there was no way they could reach the mat, in the state Mr Firefighter was in.

    Tomorrow night, we’re still in Mongolia. It’ll be episode 6, and we haven’t left Asia yet, so surely Europe or the Americas aren’t far away.

    • Well done, what a great recap.
      Just about the taxi – it looked to me like the sisters had no idea that it was a booked cab by the Instas. It pulled up on the opposite side of a multilane divided road, and the girls just thought they had lucked out.

  3. I’m not liking the Shrill Sisters. As for the cheating, I think that would have seen them penalized in the US version where teams must complete each task. You know, where they skip a task so they have to wait a 30 minute or so penalty. Helping each other perform a task, isn’t the same as helping them to skip a task.

    Also, the bus thing annoyed me. What if one team held others up by an hour?

    In the end I would have preferred the sisters out than the firefighters.

    • You probably don’t want to hear it, but all those things are exactly as they should be. Teams do help each other, but as the competition gets harder, it sets up a “betrayal” storyline when they stop helping. Also it can be a tactic, like the social game in Survivor, you are trying to win friends in the hope that they will reciprocate later, or not u-turn you.

      As for the bus, that is the purpose of having three different times. It happens a lot with the transport, as a way to spread the teams a bit. The flip side is the “gates don’t open until 6am” thing, which brings all the teams back to level regardless of how they arrive.

      • I don’t mind hearing it. It wasn’t the helping. I am aware that often happens. It’s just that in this particular instance where it meant the girls skipped the task altogether. I don’t know if this has ever happened before.

  4. That warm horse fermented milk would have made me throw up. I agree Daisy, all teams should complete the task and teams should not be able to give answers to other teams.
    The influencers are such pains. Going on and on about the stolen taxi. Hoping they will be eliminated soon. The nurses ran a good leg of the race apart from going in the wrong direction on the camels.
    The Vietnamese siblings were lucky to get through.
    Wondering why the wife (bossy firie) did not ride the camel instead of her awkward uncoordinated overweight husband. If they had not panicked and just walked to the mat , they would have beaten the brother/sister.

    • I think the bossy firey is fitter than her husband, so it seemed better for her to walk and him to sit. . . or fall. . .

      Feeling bad for the teeny siblings – they are so short they can’t see anything!

      Not entirely getting the race concept from this, my first exposure to the genre. I don’t see any advantage in finishing first if you all have to get on the same plane, for example?
      I don’t mind the sisters actually Daisy – they seem pretty organised.
      Obviously the influencers are painful but I am surprised to find myself NOT on team nurse. Last night was the best they have done and it wasn’t that much, lol.
      And honestly – CANT READ A COMPASS? are you kidding? I would have thought that was a pretty much 101 for this kind of jaunt.
      My faves are still the footy boys and the deadly marrieds. I liked her worrying that it wasn’t respectful to vomit up fermented horse’s milk. But I mean, what ELSE is there to do with it? Just thinking about it makes me hurl.

      • Ha ha. The nurses probably can’t even read a thermometer. I’m not annoyed by any of them except the sisters. I think the “influencers” are trying to be the season’s villains. But aren’t villainy enough. The nuns and Babygirl annoyed me. Babygirl because only babies should be babies. The nuns…well they were painful. The nuns were the most annoying to me. Funny how we all get annoyed by different things. Even the footy players started annoying me last night.

      • “Not entirely getting the race concept from this, my first exposure to the genre. I donโ€™t see any advantage in finishing first if you all have to get on the same plane, for example?”

        No, normally, what happens is that the teams just get a clue (“Your next route marker is in London. See you there!”) and they have to organise flights themselves. Occasionally, everyone has to get on the same flight (and if it’s a flight to somewhere remote or unusual, there’s usually only one or two possible flights they could get on, anyway), but yeah, most of the time, trying to navigate airports and find the best flights is a critical, critical part of racing.

        I don’t understand why they’re not doing that. If it’s a cost thing, it doesn’t make sense … because the teams have to get on those flights anyway, to get from country to country. I don’t get it, either.

        “I donโ€™t mind the sisters actually Daisy โ€“ they seem pretty organised.”

        No, I don’t either, actually. One of them does tend to complain a little more than the other one, but she’s the one who’s had the crappier tasks.

        “Obviously the influencers are painful but I am surprised to find myself NOT on team nurse.”

        To be honest, I’m not either. I thought they’d be really good, but they are absolutely hopeless at this. The Footy Boys fall behind but always make up for lost time and come in first. Meanwhil, the one time that the Nurses get a lucky break and end up in front, they are felled and knocked back by their own inability.

        • Is it because they booked plane tickets in advance for contestants and the camera crew etc to save on costs? And probably did bulk deals with bus companies and hotels. Thanks for the recap, WS. Canโ€™t say I would be thrilled if I broke ribs somewhere like Mongolia and then had to endure lengthy flights home to Australia. Made me think of poor Ross shattering his leg on Survivor

          • The American contestants originally were given credit cards that they could use to book whatever flights they liked. In the later seasons, when the budget got tighter, the rules were changed to force them to pick *one* flight and stick to it. Once they booked it and paid for it, that was it, they couldn’t change their minds or get another flight.

            But yes, I keep thinking that it’s a budgetary consideration. But how much was it really saving them? They all have to fly between countries *anyway*. That’s the whole point of the show.

        • Thanks for the clarification Wind. I just couldn’t work out why finishing first was any better than finishing second last! As long as you aren’t eliminated it didn’t seem to matter, although the influencers got a Sponsor Cash bonus last night.

  5. Did the nurses said 1km is 1500m. They are so clueless. Please tell me where they work and I will avoid that hospital

    • I thought that too LP – these are people that I would like to see get some facts straight. Like coming on a race and not knowing about a compass and knowing how many metres are in a KM. Yikes.

      • You always get that, Brussel. In the US version, there is often a couple who can’t swim (there is always swimming) and someone who is terrified of heights.

        • It never seems like a great idea, to be deathly afraid of swimming or heights, and to go on a TV show where at least half the challenges are about swimming or jumping off high objects.

          But people do it every year. Go figure.

  6. Again even though they started at different times they all arrived at the sand dunes at the same time. How can that be possible?

  7. They are not really doing the travelling part, which I find interesting. They are just teleported to different destinations. I like seeing the race to ticket offices, choosing flights etc.

    • I don’t like that they all start together the next day. I used to watch the US series waaay back at the beginning. I too like the hustle to get back into contention, at airports etc. Each leg now is just an elimination round, there is no real race until the last leg. I don’t like it, I’m watching 1 ep a week because it’s boring.
      And I’m not a fan of eating/drinking challenges. They are cheap challenges, who really wants to see food wasted and humans gagging and retching. Vile.

  8. Like Daisy and Littlepetal pointed out, I think this episode (the halfway point of the Race) has highlighted a few things that the Australian producers are mucking up, quite badly, and as a long-term TAR fan, I’m not sure why.

    The teams are getting chaperoned between countries. There’s no airport shenanigans, no rushing to airports or negotiating with travel agents, and that’s usually a big part of proceedings. It was also quite glaring, today, that each episode begins with automatic reset. Last episode, there must’ve been hours separating the teams … but today, they all left the starting point at the same time (just in the same order).

    This was also the exact opposite way they should be doing “needle in a haystack” challenges. These types of challenges are obnoxious enough, because the Race comes down to pure luck (two within two episodes, because we had the coins in the rice buns in Vietnam). But having a luck-based challenge and then building in an automatic time-limit for those who can’t complete it, which then further penalises them for something that’s out of their control?

    Not that it matters much, because as long as you’re not coming last, you’re guaranteed to catch up with everyone else when the next leg starts and everyone leaves at the same time.

    It’s still interesting, academically, because they’re getting a few things right. I can’t fault the locations (Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia so far), and the cast are diverse and generally pretty darn likeable. But the things they’re getting wrong, they’re getting *really* wrong, and it’s a shame, because the potential was here for a really exciting season. They’re just playing it too safe. It feels like it’s being done on the cheap.

    Funniest moment of the episode …

    The QLD sisters: “The nurses are really competent racers!”

    … have they been watching the same show as the rest of us?

    I think it was the nurses’ cab driver, who took that epic short-cut across the Mongolian countryside, that really saved the day, because it got them about 2 hours ahead of the girls (they sat out their entire penalty before the girls even arrived).

    At least the Footy Boys live to fight another day. Of the teams left, they’re definitely my favourite, but there’s still too long to go, to call any of the winners yet.

  9. Totally agree with you WS…its definitely showing signs of being done on the cheap!
    As much as i dont like the influencers i did notice tonight they were really judged much stricter than the others, 3 or 4 attempts on the singing and then the same on the dancing…maybe because they were first and it is good tv to rile Sid up but all the other teams all made it on first attempts and there was some pretty poor performances! Sid is very impatient and gets aggro when this happens (as i believe some recent news reports have reported since their return) so i was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
    The nurses musta got a really good shortcut with that driver for sure!

  10. It’s the actual travel that makes it amazing RACE. This has been tasks in a range of places. Disappointing. They could have stayed home and done tasks.

    • Yes. You know what I realised last night? We’re six episodes through. We’re at the halfway point of the series. How much footage has there been of the teams at airports, or even talking to travel agents?

      Not a single second of it.

      They’re removed a lot of the travel elements from “The Amazing Race” and that is just really strange. International travel is the whole point of this show. Why chaperone the teams?

      I think that the starting times being condensed is also a budget consideration. If teams leave hours after each other, then the attractions they visit throughout the day have to stay open longer, and the locals (that the show has hired to judge or teach the teams) have to be there longer.

      But still. The airplane issue is head-scratching. Why not prebook a couple of flights? “6 spots on this plane, 5 spots on this plane. Good luck teams.” It comes back to that first episode. Why start in Seoul? Why not start in Sydney and *then* fly to Seoul? The teams had to fly to Seoul anyway. It doesn’t make sense.

      • I do LOVE the locations though. I want to go to Mongolia now (sans horse milk) – and the previous episodes made me think Vietnam and south Korea would be good. So this is a great benefit to my slight disappointment that the race wasn’t much of a race. And i’m not a fan of Beau and his awkward hugs.
        I have been to Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya but it was a thousand years ago when I was young so will be super interested to see how it goes. . .

        • Yeah, even if you get a disappointing race, you still get some pretty amazing locations. I loved all the shots of those windswept, desolate Mongolian grass plains.

        • Beau has calmed down a bit, thankfully. And occasionally, they have used him to insert some funny commentary which “Phil” would never do. I have laughed.

  11. So far this has been the least exciting TAR I have seen. I have seen US, Asian and Australian versions. The people are even less interesting. I will keep watching but the show isn’t living up to expectations. Brussel. It’s usually a lot more exciting than an episode of Postcards.

    I also think the Sister should have had the time penalty for not performing the counting task, in the previous episode. It would have made it a bit more interesting.

  12. Wow, those sisters must have been REALLY behind. That team had a 2 hour penalty & they still came in after them. They did that digging in the sand for a clue in the US one in bora Bora years ago. Unlike there last night it was a stinking hot day & they were all collapsing from the heat. Quite a few took the penalty. They were right on the beach, I would have been running into the water to cool off in between digging.

    • The girls did an interview, that was in the Courier Mail this morning, and they said that they spent about 7 hours, in the back of a taxi, that day. Because Vladir Putin was in town, the entire centre of Ulan Bator was one gigantic traffic jam, and their’s was the only cab driver who didn’t realise it, so he tried to just drive through the city.

      The nurses took a short-cut on-camera, and the footy boys (who were trailing) also must’ve had better luck with their taxi.

      • It did occur to me about the conditions of sticking to the country’s rules at that point. Are their taxis allowed to go off-road like that? And is it okay if it is the driver’s decision and not the team’s suggestion?

    • That sand digging challenge nearly finished.off the blond hippie boys who won a US season several years ago. I think that was another convenient non elimination leg coz they were too charismatic.

  13. I spotted lots of editing errors in this last episode, which was disappointing. The judging at the dance has already been mentioned, but there were others.

    And, as mentioned, the timing of events was out of whack. The most obvious was at the pitstop. Viv and Joey arrived during the nurses time out (which I think was too excessive, btw, half an hour is the usual for not completing a task or cheating) and as they got out of the taxi, the sun was setting on the horizon behind them. They check in, get the good news that others are behind, then Beau checks the nurses in. Roll on a little bit, and the sisters get out of their taxi, commenting that it is dusk! And we could see it was still mainly daylight. We could only assume that the sun takes a loooong time to set in Mongolia.

    The other weird thing was that the footy boys went AWOL for a large chunk of the day, so that when they appeared again in a taxi, none of us could remember whether they were coming or going from the detour. The editors are doing a poor job of showing us where everyone is, while still not giving away a final result. In fact, I think they are trying so hard to make the finishing order a mystery that they are confusing the audience. It is fine to know who is going to be last sometimes, more important to understand the journey of how it unfolded and why. They did it correctly with showing the taxi detour around the town.

    But, oh, Mongolia. I have never seen this sort of footage of the country – in fact hardly any at all but it was such an eye-opener to see both the countryside, the desert, and the urban areas (who knew Mongolia has cities?). I really hope they get a tourist boost from this.

  14. Just for information, a Season 30 re-run of the US version has just started during the day on Saturdays. Two or three episodes in a row. If anyone hasn’t seen the show before and would like to compare, then it is an option to watch this one alongside the Aus one.

    • ohh thank you! I will give it a go. I am not totally a convert yet, but hanging in there. Particularly in the absence of anything else! So I would like to have a look at some other instances.

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