‘The Amazing Race: Australia vs. New Zealand’ premiere review: Brains over brawn

The Amazing Race -The Amazing Race Australia” is back, and it’s just as fantastically fun as we remember it. The Australian version of the show has long been our favorite, and for the most part, the premiere of the third season (subtitled “Australia vs. New Zealand”) did not disappoint. The show did a great job casting ten eclectic teams with a variety of big personalities, and then identifying important places to highlight.

Could you saw that the premiere was somewhat biased to New Zealand? Sure, given that the majority of the challenges were set in the country … but that really didn’t seem to be the determining factor in why a team went home. Instead, it was a common mistake known as not reading your clue properly. How do teams not do this so many years into the show internationally? Our only guess is they get their adrenaline pumping, and rather spending that extra minute, they instead lose half an hour.

This is what befell pageant models Inga & Tiharna, who didn’t bother to see that they needed to haul their gigantic version of the One Ring from one challenge to the next. This was just a logical error as much as anything; if you have half of a ring, don’t you think that you are going to need the other half?

Somehow, the show managed to make a leg about both the earthquake in Christchurch (an extremely sad, raw moment of the hour) and also “Lord of the Rings” work. Both are part of Kiwi heritage now in one way or the other. The team who dominated the most in here were “best mates” John & Murray, who were buoyed by a short advantage the New Zealand teams had after completing a tug-of-war at the start of the leg. That was the night’s only real interesting twist; we were disappointed that host Grant Bowler gave out two Express Passes at the end, since that put the show on the same path as so many other versions and did away with the Salvage Pass, one of our favorite twists related to this version of the show.

Now, let’s mention some of the other teams we haven’t brought up yet who we particularly enjoyed.

Daniel & Ryan – The ICU nurses, whose greatest moment came when they said that they excel in challenges involving taking off their clothes quickly.

Elizabeth & Ryan – Quite possibly our favorite mother / son team ever, mostly because Elizabeth is lying to everyone and proclaiming that she went to space … among other things. Hilarious.

Aston & Christine – The complete trainwreck of the season. One minute they are complaining about serious injuries, and the next they are completing a task. They are surprisingly effective in some things, which is good given that they run about as fast as a tortoise.

Sally & Tyson – These two proved yet again tonight that having huge muscles does not make you effective in anything. Tyson was a bad anchor in the tug-of-war, and Sally forced her boyfriend to carry her so she wouldn’t get muddy. Their biggest mistake was mental, since they got themselves so off-track that they had to rely on someone else failing to even still be in the leg.

Even without our favorite twist, “The Amazing Race Australia” still delivered a fun premiere that has us excited for the rest of the season. The most important thing is that we like the competition, and that gives us hope for the future. Grade: B+.

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Photo: Seven Network

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