We are probably going to use this review for “The Amazing Race: Australia vs. New Zealand” mostly trying to figure out the answer to one thing: Whether or not we actually enjoyed the show as much as in some past seasons.
The biggest thing that we may be struggling with right now is simply all of the filler in this leg. It took a very long time for the teams to make it to the beaches in Thailand, which is where the action of the leg was set. Once there, it’s not like any of the tasks were a home run compared to last week at Angkor Wat. The Detour was basically climb up the side of a cliff, or work on getting out coconut juice. Meanwhile, the Roadblock was just searching for clams in the water. None of these were terrible, but they could have been much more than they were. Having teams get a massage? Well, there is only so much that can be entertaining about watching someone get a massage unless they have the fish attacking their feet like Aston & Christie did.
Also, let’s talk predictability. There was never any doubt that Aston & Christie were going to be gone soon. They’re probably one of the worst teams to make it three legs into a race. They were sort of bailed out last week, and this time around, fought with one another and switched Detours twice. The thing that we really cannot get over is the fact that they’ve checked their luggage. Why in the world would you do that; had they never watched the show? This is basically a guarantee that you will at least be a few minutes behind every other team at the airport, and these two are not physically fit enough to make up for it. The only reason that the leg was even close is because Cat (of Cat & Jesse) struggled at the Roadblock, and it slowed the two down while Aston & Christie actually did pretty well here.
Where this episode shined was much more in the realm of character dynamics. John & Murray are borderline psychotic, making Paul & Steve from season 2 seem almost normal. Freaking out over Emily & Jono over what they did was crazy, and they’re making this race so much harder on themselves by being so aggressive. You’d think that for “best mates” they’d be much more carefree; the guys who work in an intensive-care unit, who deal with stress on a daily basis, are the exact opposite.
John & Murray may have won the race, but we feel like they did two very questionable things tonight. First, they made the move to U-Turn a team in Sally & Tyson who you knew was right behind them. Sure, it may have cost them 1st place had they not done it, but you don’t want to U-Turn a team unless you know that you can eliminate them on that leg. Had they did it to someone like Ashleigh & Jarrod (who we find for the most part very entertaining), maybe they could have made more of an impact.
Then, they gave Carla & Hereni their other Express Pass, when they could have easily opted to give it to someone like Cat & Jesse who are probably never going to be threats to win the race. The only thing we can think of here is that maybe they feel like they are giving themselves a little bit of a better insurance policy this way, that there always will be at least one team seemingly behind them.
Thankfully, most of the teams are still likable, and with the quality of the Australian show so high, we’ll be a little less harsh on a subpar episode. Let’s just hope that it gets back to where we want it to be soon. Grade: B-.
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Photo: Seven Network