The Amazing Race Australia – A Promising Start
Even before the teams had left the Melbourne Cricket Ground I had taken a dislike to NSW married entrepeneurs Richard And Joey. This couple are very intense and use slogans like “Focus, Believe, Achieve”, “Crush It!”,”Bring it” and “Step up”. You just know they have been to an Anthony Robbins seminar or three.
The first episode of The Amazing Race Australia was entertaining, and having a 90 minute one to start the series meant we got to see a fair bit of the eleven teams. Also the challenges particularly the detour and the counting of the rupiah allowed for the teams to catch up and overtake. I always find it frustrating/boring in the US version when the challenges are too easy and the first team that gets there is the first to leave.
Most teams were likeable. In fact I really liked Renae and Sam the models from WA. They were savvy, and worked well as a team together. However take a point off from them for saying to the Balinese cab driver “you have two Australian princesses in cab” – that was cringeworthy.
Tracey and Anne-Marie the ladies from Big W were also a hoot just determined to have fun with this fabulous opportunity that has landed in their laps.
Mo and Mos were fabulous as well particularly after abseiling down the MCG towers, they said “I am surprised they didn’t call the police, an arab climbing around the MCG – should we be concerned?” Their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks.
The great thing about reality TV is they showcase different cultures, backgrounds, and genders. And to have two ordinary Australian muslims on the show goes a long way to break the stereotypes that a lot of people hold against them.
By the way I am surprised there is no gay team in the Australian version this is obligatory each season in the US version.
Conversely I think Mel from reunited sisters team is going to irritate me, as is Chris from the dating couple Chris and Anastasia. They think if The Amazing Race will be a good test for their relationship, and if it goes well they will consider getting married. Something Anastasia who is only 21 is particularly keen on.
The show’s host Grant Bowler greeted the eleven teams at the MCG, and announced the prize money is $250,000 which is a quarter of the prize money of the US version. But this was no surprise.
Grant seems very serious, and even at the pitstop does not have Phil Keoghan’s cheekiness, nor the eyebrow lift, but maybe a personality will emerge during the series.
They started off with a Roadblock straight away, and it was to abseil down the MCG light towers. No one baulked, but Dave from the married biker team was afraid of heights but he still got through it fairly efficiently. It was then a race to the airport. Nathan and Tyler the two models arrived their first and got on the first flight out and were the first to arrive in Bali.
The first leg was to Lombok Indonesia, which had previously been reported on this blog as the teams had been spotted at Melbourne Airport flying to Denpesar.
Unfortunately for Nathan and Tyler once they had signed on to be on the first boat to Lombok the other teams were able to catch up to them as they overnighted at the boat office.
Nathan and Tyler look like they are going to be a strong team. They seem like nice enough guys, but model material? Really? Also the same goes for model’s Sam and Renae, they are pretty girls but models? Maybe that is just a fancy name for promotion girls.
Team male models continued to take the lead for most of the leg.
Once they arrived at the fishing village they had to find the clue, this was tricky and all the teams then caught up.
I thought the hiding of the clues on fishing boats was a bit tough. Regular viewers of the show would know the clues are normally kept in a clue box.
The teams then had to travel to Pura Lingsa Temple by taxi and walk through rice cake throwing ceremony to get their next clue.
At this stage did Chris call the balinese pussies once his girlfriend Anastasia fell over on getting pelted with rice cakes? If so that is outrageous.
Another contestant who was inappropriate was Richard. On finding the clue in the fishing village turned and gave the villagers a slight bow, with hands pressed together. I always thought that was more a Thai tradition. However I do hope Team entrepreneurs stay in awhile as they will make good TV.
The clue at the temple was for a detour. It was either cash or carry.
Cash – the teams had to sell 15 bowls of Bakso (soup) for 5000 rupiahs. The Carry detour was having to balance a basket of vegetables on their heads and walk to another market stall to deliver them.
Nathan and Tyler were in the lead at this point but after picking the carry detour lost ground as they had to abandon it. They were particularly demoralised when the WA models went zipping past them.
Joey from the married entrepreneurs stuffed up when she found out she was collecting the incorrect amount of money. Props to them as a couple that they did not start fighting, but just got on with the job of completing the task.
After the tour it was off to Malimbu beach to catch a boat to Gili Trewangan and snorkel to find a brief case and count out cash. But anyone who has been to Indonesia will know that this is no easy task.
The WA models showed their smarts by picking the boat with the most powerful motor and extended their lead.
The cases were pretty deep in the ocean and the Big W ladies Tracy and Anne-Marie really struggled to get theirs. As did Mo and Mos.
However the task of counting was a good challenge as it allowed the teams that were behind to catch up.
I did laugh when Nathan and Tyler said they found counting of the money mentally draining.
Matt and Tom the nice farmers lost 2000 rupiahs under their hut and did not realise and they owed Dave a favour for seeing it and handing it to them.
The only teams that got it on first go were Ryot and Liberty, as Ryot is a poker player, maths was this challenge was great for them, I also think the Big W ladies also got it in their first attempt.
The models Sam and Renae counted it first and made it to the pit stop first and won $10,000 and the express pass.
Dave and Kelly came in second, Ryot and Liberty were third. In order of arrival after that was Jeff and Luke, Matt and Tom, Nathan and Tyler, Chris and Anastasia, Anne-Marie and Tracey, Alana and Mel, and Joey and Richard.
Mo and Mos were the last team to arrive but lucky for them it was a non-elimination round.
What did you think of the first episode? And which teams to you like and dislike at this stage?