We’ll have to start right off here with giving “The Amazing Race: Australia vs. New Zealand” at least a little bit of credit. They continue to travel to interesting locations, and also surprise when it comes to the final order of the teams at the end of each leg.
This is why it’s somewhat unfortunate when you have an episode that could have been great, if there were just a few little changes made to the course. The remaining five teams took off to Lisbon, Portugal, and we were prepared to enjoy this one even if there was almost no chance that it would be an elimination leg. Since Daniel & Ryan did not save John & Murray, the race would have to make up for that somewhere else, and they chose to do so here.
The trouble for the episode started mostly in the super-fun musical challenge when the teams arrived. Why not do that in the morning? We still do not understand at all why in the world you have a task that creates excitement, only to derail that excitement by making a sleepover happen afterwards. This could have potentially changed the outcome of the leg, depending on how long Cat & Jesse struggled with it.
This leg ultimately showed how more than anything else, making smart decisions and getting the right directions can save you. Sally & Tyson repeatedly screwed themselves by not following up enough on where they were going, and Ashleigh & Jarrod had about the worst leg ever. They whined, they pouted, they switched detours, and who knows how long they would have been stuck at the umbrella-counting one if a local hadn’t told them the answer.
This brings us to the other flaw in the episode: We hate these detours where you can just give the other team the answer. While it may make for strategic gameplay, we don’t really watch the show so much more that as action. This is even worse when you can just get a local to give you the answer.
Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, the rest of the leg in Lisbon was pretty fun. Daniel & Ryan got first place despite their many struggles, and with the remaining field being what it is, this could be an easy path to the grand prize for them. Carla & Hereni are mistake-prone, Ashleigh & Jarrod give up a little easily, Sally & Tyson are terrible at directions, and Cat & Jesse are slow. Who’s going to beat them in this race?
Personally, we are rooting for Cat & Jesse just because it is so unlikely that they made it this far. Unfortunately, we have a hard time thinking that they will make it to the final leg. Other than one challenge last week, they spend so much time doing some of the tasks that they have to basically be flawless when it comes to getting from point A to point B. Eventually, either a leg will turn up where there is not enough time for them to make up ground, or they will get a bad cab driver and be doomed.
We’re still enjoying this season very much, and just for the sake of the awkward comedy that comes from them squabbling, we’re glad that Ashleigh & Jarrod are still around. Grade: B-.
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Photo: Seven Network