After finding the video, I can now do a legitimate recap of the first episode of the Amazing Race Asia 2. This was the premiere episode of the second season. It was quite the whirlwind. Let’s get to it now.
We start off in Singapore, the starting line for the race. As usual, lovely establishing shots set the scene for the race. Since we already did a meet the teams post, we can dispense with the introductions of all of the participants.
So all ten teams are getting ready to go. Host Alan Wu explains that the race is split into a number of legs during which everyone will have to complete various challenges on their way to each pit stop. There will be 7 pit stops where teams will be eliminated. And unlike this season of US TAR, there will be some non-elimination legs. Alan warns that this first leg very well may be an elimination leg unlike last season in which the first leg in Kuala Lampur was non-elimination. The first team to cross the finish line will win US$100,000.
Alan gives the signal for the teams to run to their packbacks where their first clue is waiting and they’re off. They all rip open the yellow envelopes and find a picture in which a taxi will have a matching souvenir on its dashboard. Teams must go to the taxi stands within a 300 yard radius of the Asian Civilizations Museum. Immediately, Sophie, of Sophie & Aurelia, who is from Singapore knows where to go. All teams receive $46 for this leg of the race.
Almost immediately, we get separation of the teams. There’s confusion on where to go. Some teams go right, while others go left. This is like the first leg of TAR12 where teams left the Playboy Mansion in LA confused on where to go.
Friends Paula & Natasha realize they’re going the wrong way and turn around. So do Philippino TV hosts Marc & Rovilson. And almost immediately, this teams mugs for the camera. This will become an annoying trait for this team. They already made an audition tape that was totally over the top. I really hope they’re eliminated soon.
Most of the teams finally realize they’re going the wrong way and go in the right direction. The teams that go the right way quickly find their souvenirs and get their clues. Teams will now have to go to the Merlion at Faber Point, one of Singapore’s best known landmarks. Alan tells us teams may risk taking a lot of time finding their next clue because it’s on top of Mount Faber.
Trailing far behind is Edwin & Monica. Now if you saw Racers Revealed, this team proclaimed itself the Rob & Amber of this race. Edwin was very arrogant in that episode and will do nothing to dispel that notion in this episode. Now I happen to like Rob & Amber and they did nothing to prove that they’re even close to Rob & Amber. Please.
And look at the shirt he’s wearing. It says “0″ to show what he is. A zero. He did nothing in this episode besides whine and complain. Rob may have whined a bit, but he was always thinking. Edwin showed he had nothing. But he did take Monica’s backpack while looking for the taxis. After building themselves up, their performance in this episode was a real disappointment.
Also bringing up the rear were Henry & Terri, the married couple from the Philippines, but at least they were entertaining. They argued and yelled, but Terri was funny during the entire show.
Gym buddies Adrian & Collin managed to find the right taxi and were on their way to Mount Faber. Collin is deaf and he impressed me with his abilities in this episode. But more on them later.
Dancing Moms Ann & Diane get into their cab where Diane takes a moment and breathes a deep breath. There are very few moments in the race where one can do this and Diane takes advantage. I have to say I like these moms.
In the meantime, Terri & Henry and Edwin & Monica can’t find the taxis are way behind. This will cost them at the end.
Over to Mount Faber, sisters Vanessa & Pamela get to the clue box first. Gym buddies Adrian & Collin are next. Muggers Marc & Rovilson are in third close behind. And ex-roomies Sophie & Aurelia are fourth at the clue box.
What the teams just do is take a Nokia N95 GPS system (nice product placement) and guide their taxi driver to the next clue. The GPS barks out instructions (actually, it’s pretty nice) and the drivers follow them to the letter. Collin adeptly points out that “it’s just like you are James Bond 007 in the movies.”
Ann & Diane finally get to Mount Faber, but they lead the second wave heading to the Merlion.
We cut to Marc & Rovilson who are having fun with their GPS. Rovilson is cutting one liners that are not all that funny. Obviously, he’s trying to use TARA to get another TV gig. Stop it. You’re not funny. This is painful to watch. Go away. He says humor is a release and it’s best to use it to laugh at yourself. That’s nice. Laugh away. We the viewer suffer at your expense.
Back with Edwin & Monica, Edwin is fed up of carrying two backpacks and Monica promises to throw away some stuff. Terri & Henry are beginning to show frustration over not finding their taxi.
At Mount Faber, Brett & Kinar are getting out of their cab and finally get to the Merlion. Paula & Natasha are 7th to get their GPS and siblings Daichi & Sawaka are 8th.
The first wave of Vanessa & Pam, Rovilson & Marc and Adrian & Collin all get to their next destination, Suntec City Mall.
They all find the clue about the same time and come to their first Detour of the race, Dare or Stair.
In Dare, teams will go up to the roof of Tower Three at Suntec City in Singapore and Tyrolean Traverse to Tower Four to get their next clue. The towers are 181 meters in height so those with a fear of heights will have trouble with this task.
In Stair, teams must climb 45 floors to the rooftop of Tower 3, then go all the way back down to the lobby and then climb 45 floors of Tower 4 to receive their next clue. While it’s not as frightful as a Tyrolean Traverse, it can be physically demanding and take a long time. All three correctly choose Dare.
On the way up to the rooftop of Tower 3, gym buddies Adrian & Collin outrun Rovilson & Marc surprising the Philippinos. Sisters Vanessa & Pam get to the roof third and will traverse to the Tower 4.
On the bottom, Sophie & Aurelia and Ann & Diane decide to take the Dare. Collin finally pushes off and heads to Tower Four while Adrian pulls the rope to help get him across.
Back at the Museum, our last two teams, Edwin & Monica and Terri & Henry finally find their souvenirs and take their taxis to Mount Faber.
On the roof of Tower Three, Collin is getting close to Tower Four, while Rovilson complains about Marc saying he should have gotten a girl partner. Shut up. RAAAAAAACCCCCCCEEEEEE!!!
Three more teams, siblings Daichi & Sawaka, friends Paula & Natasha and dating couple Brett & Kinar finally make it to Suntec City and they all take Dare.
The teams on top are slowly traversing their way to Tower 4, but they’ve all chosen the correct task.
The last teams finally make it to Mount Faber. Edwin & Monica are 9th with Terri & Henry bringing up the rear.
Meanwhile, the other teams at Suntec City are traversing the Towers without any problems. Daichi says he has a fear of heights, he can’t even go over a small bridge, but he completes the Detour without any complaints.
Rovilson & Marc finish the task first and find that first destination of the race will be their home of the Philippines. They’ll fly to Manila and from the airport, they’ll take a taxi to the Asian Promenade Park, CCP Complex where they will find their next clue.
Now with the last two teams, it’s going to be between Edwin & Monica and Terri & Henry to see who will hit the mat last. Edwin is listening to his GPS and is impatient. Henry is having fun.
Vanessa & Pam are finishing their traverse as are Daichi & Sawaka and Brett & Kinar bring up the rear of this pack.
Over to Singapore Airport with Rovilson & Marc say they want the fastest flight to Paris, France, no, wait! They want to go Manila. Oh, they’re such cut-ups. No, they’re not. They’re already annoying and this is just the first episode. Can you imagine how I’ll feel if they continue deep into the race?
While the 6th, 7th and 8th teams are leaving Suntec City, Edwin & Monica and Terri & Henry are just arriving. Edwin is already fed up that Monica won’t carry her backpack. What exactly did she pack in there? Terri & Henry are arguing and this time, it looks serious. She yells “We’re already dead! Resting!” Both teams find the clue box and decide to do Dare. Nobody does the Stair as they should not.
Somehow, Terri & Henry get a fast elevator and head to the traverse in 9th. The so-called Rob & Amber, Edwin & Monica are dead last. Monica looks into the camera says, “I’m so tired.” Darling, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This is just the first leg.
While this is happening, Sophie & Aurelia and the Dancing Moms get to the airport. And eventually, Pam & Vanessa, Daichi & Sawaka and Brett & Kinar make it as well. Dating couple Brett & Kinar only have three minutes to make it to the gate, but this group all get on the flight out to Manila.
Finally, Terri & Henry and Edwin and Monica make it across and get their clues. Terri & Henry are happy to be going home to Manila. Edwin looks like he doesn’t care. Both teams finally make it to the airport, but find they’re not allowed on the flight to Manila. They will have to take a much later flight, putting them back in the pack. While Henry takes it in stride, Mr. Zero, Edwin tells Monica, “We’re done.” Good attitude, jerkoff.
So eight teams are heading to Manila (ignore the banner for “24″ on the bottom of the pic, that’s AXN doing that, not me). They arrive at the airport in the midst of a heavy rainstorm. But that’s the least of their problems.
The arrogant Rovilson & Marc take a shortcut to the park thinking that the other teams took a longer route. But the smart sisters, Vanessa & Pam ask their driver if he knows another way than taking the highway from Manila to the park and he says yes. So they head off on the backroads and they arrive right after the unfunny TV hosts.
Teams must now find a balut seller in Plaza Miranda where they will have to eat eight balut, a Philippino delicacy. These are believed by the Philippine people to be an aphrodisiac. And they’re so appealing. In essence, these are duck eggs with the fetus inside.
The producers did a nice job in focusing in on one so you could see it in all of its glory.
Looks appealing, huh? Pam & Vanessa a bit grossed out, but they carry on knowing this is a race. Marc says there will be eyes, beak, veins and possibly feathers. Rovilson recoils in the thought. For the first time in this leg, they don’t mug for the camera and it’s refreshing.
Ann & Diane get to the clue box in the rains 3rd quickly followed by Adrian & Collin. Collin is grossed out by the thought of the eggs. Ann & Diane nicely appeal to some tourists for their cab and get it. Brett & Kinar find the clue as well as Japanese siblings Daichi & Sawaka.
Heading to the plaza, Rovilson quickly gets over his revulsion mugs for the camera. He’s not funny. At. All. Pamela tells her sister to think of scrambled eggs. Collin says he’s hungry anyway so he can eat.
Over at the park, Sophie & Aurelia and Paula & Natasha get their clues in 7th and 8th, respectively. Brett explains to Kinar what an aphrodisiac is, “It gives you a bit of a sex drive” and she realizes it, but Brett has to continue, “Like oysters … or tiger penis.” Tiger penis? Kinar says, “Or lamb.” That was a very strange exchange.
At the plaza, sisters Vanessa & Pam get to the Roadblock first and start eating. Rovilson & Marc who thought they had a home court advantage are discouraged to see them eating. I was very happy to see that. And the girls thought the balut actually tasted good. They blew through this task rather easily and were first to get their clue. I was actually applauding as I was watching this. And Rovilson gagged as he tried to swallow one balut. Marc cursed as he saw the girls leave.
The girls got their clue and found they were to go to Fort Santiago, the pit stop for this leg of the race. Alan tells us that Fort Santiago was once a Spanish defense fortress when the Philippines was its colony. It’ll now serve as the 12 hour pit stop for the racers.
As Adrian & Collin get out of their cab, Pam & Vanessa quickly take it and tell the driver to head to Fort Santiago.
Rovilson & Marc finally finish their 8 balut and leave. Adrian & Collin blow through this task and head out third from the plaza. The Dancing Moms are eating their balut when Brett & Kinar arrive.
Rovilson & Marc show their true colors by saying they’re embarrassed to be in second to the girls. Vanessa says the crunchy part of the balut was the beak.
Then we see Sophie & Aurelia in their cab riding to the plaza to eat the balut. Sophie says she tried to explain what embryos were, but Aurelia wasn’t getting it. Then again, Aurelia is French so I’m sure she didn’t quite understand what Sophie was saying, but I just love this look. Finally Sophie tells her it’s a developing baby duck and Aurelia finally gets it, but it seemingly takes a while for the message to get through. I just love the dynamic between these two. These are two strong minded women who just won’t follow the other.
Ann & Diane had a little trouble swallowing the balut. Brett & Kinar tried to think of other things while eating them. Kinar mistakenly tried to drink balut sauce instead of water.
Heading to the pit stop, Rovilson & Marc change transportation on the way to Fort Santiago. They say if the clue says, “Find your way”, they will do everything they can to find their destination. Of course, seeing them in their confessional reeks of arrogance and ego.
Ooh, we’re alpha male TV hosts. Look at us. We’re pretty and we’re funny. Shut up!
Seeing Pam & Vanessa finish first made me very happy. And they won the Nokia N95 GPS plus the N73 Mobile Phone for their finish.
And clowns Rovilson & Marc got to the mat, arms raised thinking they finished first, but got the news that they were in second. Couldn’t have happened to nicer guys. Jerks. They said they’ll take it, but knowing how they wanted to finish first in their homeland, it was nice to see Mr. and Mr. Perfect get knocked down a peg.
Back at Manila Airport, Terri & Henry and Edwin & Monica arrive looking for taxis. The married couple find one almost immediately while the so-called Rob & Amber have trouble. They eventually get one, but they’re definitely behind the 8 ball.
Sophie & Aurelia get to the plaza while Brett & Kinar and Dancing Moms Ann & Diane leave in 4th and 5th place respectively. Aurelia digs in as she’s hungry.
Through this entire time, gym buddies Adrian & Collin are having trouble finding a cab. When they do, the driver goes the wrong way and takes them back to Manila Airport. This costs them valuable time and several places.
Daichi & Sawaka are having trouble even finding the plaza and they’re not getting any help from the locals.
Over to Sophie & Aurelia, Aurelia is having a fun time, eating, talking, chewing and swallowing seemingly all at once. This is so funny. Aurelia asks for water so she can wash down the balut and when she’s finished, she asks for dessert. I was in hysterics! Sophie, if you’re reading, I can tell you were so focused on the race and were a little frustrated over Aurelia having fun and talking while you were eating. I look forward to seeing more of them down the line. They leave the plaza in 6th place (despite being labeled in 7th place by the producers). In their confessional, Sophie says she hopes at the end of the day Aurelia will be knackered so she’ll talk less. I love these two.
Childhood friends Paula & Natasha who started the race wearing shorts and were still wearing them as they get to the plaza realizing they should have worn something else. Daichi & Sawaka finally get to the plaza and find the girls still eating their balut.
Back at the park, Terri & Henry find their clue while Edwin & Monica are just having all types of trouble. A driver tells them where to go, but Terri & Henry have already taken the clue and are about to head to the plaza.
As they finish the balut, Paula & Natasha are now in 7th and the siblings are close behind in 8th.
At the pit stop, the second all-girl team, Ann & Diane finish in 3rd and dating couple Brett & Kinar are in 4th. Sophie & Aurelia are checked in 5th, another strong finish for an all-female team.
Terri & Henry finally arrive at the plaza and eat the balut. On their way over, Edwin says he’s ready to throw up just thinking about the balut, but Monica says she’s ready to eat, she doesn’t care what’s in the egg. That’s the spirit. It’s not whining, Edwin. Would Rob whine about what he’s going to eat? I don’t think so.
And Terri & Henry leave in 9th place just ahead of Edwin & Monica’s arrival. As they eat, Monica thinks the balut tastes good. However, Terri & Henry have trouble finding a taxi. Terri asks, no, orders Henry to go farther up the road, but he can’t separate from her, but she tells him to go. He kicks the road in frustration.
Paula & Natasha get a good taxi and get to the pitstop in 6th meaning all-female teams finish in the top six, a very strong finish for the girls. Daichi & Sawaka’s driver has no idea where he’s going and gets out to ask for directions costing them time. Adrian & Collin are finally going in the right direction, but what place will they finish? They’ll get to the pitstop in 7th place and Daichi & Sawaka get to the mat in 8th, still in it.
However, I was hoping that Edwin & Monica would be eliminated, however, this is a non-elimination leg. But Edwin & Monica are Marked for Elimination meaning they must finish 1st or incur a 30 minute time penalty. I am so hoping to see them eliminated because this team brought nothing to the table after Edwin was so arrogant in the Racers Revealed episode. It’s your time to go Edwin.
So here’s your order of finish:
1. Pam & Vanessa – winners of a Nokia N95 GPS system and a N73 Mobile Phone
2. Rovilson & Marc
3. Ann & Diane
4. Brett & Kinar
5. Sophie & Aurelia
6. Paula & Natasha
7. Adrian & Collin – could have been higher had their driver not taken them to the airport.
8. Daichi & Sawaka
9. Terri & Henri
10. Edwin & Monica – Marked for Elimination
We’ll see how they do next week.