This is it. The most anticipated reality launch of the year has just begun, and I’m bursting at the seams. Now bewarrned; this is quite a lengthy and descriptive post, so don’t bother reading if you don’t have the time.
Fly overs of Melbourne with Grant Bowler standing on the railings of the MCG looks absolutely cool. Not to mention the eleven helicopters flying overhead. What an epic start! Let’s check out the contestants.
Ann-Marie and Tracy, the Big W workers from Big WA, looking like my favourites.
Richard and Joey- FOCUS, BELIEVE, ACHIEVE!
Nathan and Tyler from NSW (which one is dating Erin McNaught? I can’t remember)
WA bikers Dave and Kelly who claim to be exact opposites.
Outback Queensland farmers Matt & Tom. Seem like a chill couple.
Reunited sisters Alana and Mel; the South Australian representatives. Hope these two do well, they have a pretty interesting back story.
Renae and Sam, models from WA who seem as fake and plastic as a pair of rubber ducks… love it!
Mo and Mos, the Muslim friends. Their weight looks like this team would be fun to watch.
Luke and Jeff, a pair of father and son who seem to not trust each other.
Ryot and Liberty; brother and sister. The most noticeable similarity is the names… the weirdest of the lot this year.
Chris and Anastasia- love birds… enough said.
Finally, they arrive in the enormous MCG as they run to the starting line. And Grant finally opens the show with the lovely opening titles.
I agree with TV Tonight; Grant does seem very relaxed. He runs through the basic rules. Pit stops, eliminations, rewards- including the express pass, given to the first contestants to get to the first pit stop. The teams also get money; he warns them to spend it wisely. The race begins and they all rush to the first clue.
It’s a road block. ‘Who is your tower of strength?’ Contestants must take a number, corresponding to a certain light tower in the MCG and climb it before abseil down the side. That would scare me and it sure scared biker Dave who didn’t like the ‘sight seeing’. Everyone else is doing fine though.
Teams must then drive to the airport and fly to Indonesia and then boat it to Lombok. Nathan and Tyler (I’m gonna call the frat boys or surfers) leave in first place; next are bikers Dave and Kelly. Sisters Alana and Mel; the latter is doing the abseiling, and FABelievers Joey and Richard; the latter doing the abseiling are still competing in roadblock 1. The two couples then finish and are on their way.
Sam and Renae (models) are on roadblock 1 with Renae doing the abseiling. She’s quite scared. Workers Ann-Marie and abseiler Tracy are also on roadblock 1. Tracy overtakes the freaked out Renae. Friends Mo and Mos are still there as are Luke and Jeff and Anastasia and Chris (Chris is Abseiling as is Jeff). The only other team there are farmers Matt and Tom. Renae overpasses Tracey as Tracey is knackered, just hanging there. Sam and Renae finish, closely followed by Ann-Marie and Tracey (who regains strength) and they head for Lombok. The farmers finish with lovebirds Chris and Anastasia on their tails.
For the farmers; the city streets, a different setting to what they are used to, throw them off. Luke and Jeff finish just before Mo and Mos who are in last place but in good humour. The teams race to the airport. Nathan and Tyler arrive first before Dave and Kelly, Ryot and Liberty (I missed them finish the roadblock). The weird namers get on the second flight as the frat boys and bikers take the last seats on the first flight. Mo and Mos are still at the MCG! They are a couple of goons wondering if police will pick up on the ‘Arab climbing the wall of the MCG’.
Luke and Jeff and Alana and Mel are neck and neck but Alana and Mel can’t find their way through Melbourne (bloody South Australians ). Ann-Marie and Tracey are finding a park (without luck) as Chris and Anastasia make it to the airport terminal. They have a funny encounter with the bikers. Richard and Joey and the farmers make it next with the farmers finding the airport to be a bit of a trouble to navigate. They can’t even buy a ticket! Ann-Marie and Tracey can’t find the car park and look like they are in real trouble.
Mo and Mos arrive at the airport. They are the last team to arrive. They go to the prayer rooms as they wait for their flight. All teams are then said to be on their way to Denpesar. The frats are still in front. They make it to the boats first. We see a funny trip to the boats in cabs (man I love the cab race scenes). Following them are Anastasia and Chris, Alana and Mel, Dave and Kelly, Jeff and Luke, Ann-Marie and Tracey, Richard and Joey, Mos and Mo, Tom and Matt and in last place, Ryot and Liberty.
The boats then depart but not before some tense waiting from the teams in the later boats. Richard gets seasick (come on, Richard. Focus, believe, achieve!)
The teams search for the clue in the village with some teams running through a pack of laughing kids (to the chagrin of Alana and Mel). The work mates stack out of the boat (love those two) while Jeff and Luke are still looking for the clue (the sisters try to ask local kid) as are the rest of the contestants.
The last boat arrives with the farmers and the weird namers. Tyler and Nathan find the clue! They must travel by taxi to a temple and run through a rice war to receive their next clue. This should be interesting.
The other contestants follow their heels with the bikers getting into second place (actually, I think they were in second to begin with.).
Sam and Renae are just in front of the Big W racers. Richard and Joey are in fifth; they find a clue as do the farmers, now in sixth. Luke and Jeff find one before we find out the FABelievers reveal they covered the votes with netting. Naughty. The lovebirds get a clue in eighth place, followed by Mo and Mos, Ryot and Liberty and the sisters in last place.
I find it funny how Ann-Marie and Tracey are known universally amongst the teams as the ‘Big W’ ladies. Aww, Mo and Mos want them as grandparents. Hilarious.
The teams make it to the rice war. This is pure hilarity. When the teams make it through; it’s the detour. They must choose between Cash or Carry. In Cash they must distribute food for money. In Carry, they must carry some stuff on their head through a crowd; you know, the traditional Amazing Race shenanigans.
Meanwhile; I’ve just witnessed Mo and Mos being pelted with the flour and rice. The best scene so far, followed by the Big W ladies; Oh my god, hardy har!
Most teams are choosing Carry including the surfers and the Models. Surfers Nathan and Tyler also choose carry. They seem really uncoordinated. They are drawn between continuing with Carry or go to Cash. They are not doing very well. Maybe it’s because they washed their head.
Richard and Joey and Mo and Mos both choose Cash before Chris and Anastasia call the rice throwers pussies. Richard and Joey are selling stuff in an accent that is borderline racist but are doing well. Until they realise they mucked up on the price. Oh dear!
Tyler and Nathan are still attempting Carry and are doing better than the last time we saw them. The models then pass them to enter first place. The surfers are knocked off course so they choose to do Cash.
In the next clue involves them going snorkelling for a brief case of money in which they must count. The models are on their way. The farmers are doing well with Carry. Meanwhile, the surfers are trying their hand at Cash. Richard and Joey and Dave and Kelly are still on cash as are Ryot and Liberty and the Big W ladies.
No one seems to be taking Dave’s food so they go to Carry where the farmers are taking control. Luke and Jeff aren’t doing very well, now on attempt 3. Then attempt 4. Then attempt 5. Nathan and Tyler are doing really well at Cash when someone gives them 50,000 rupiahs.
The farmers get the clue and are on their way. Chris and Anastasia are now on Carry. The bikers are struggling at carry. The sisters have just started Carry as well. Nathan and Tyler finish their Cash detour and are now in third place. Alana and Mel are still going with their Carry task and are doing well. Ann-Marie and Tracey are also doing well. And so they should, they do work at Big W after all. Mo and Mos are struggling. Ryot and Liberty are also doing average.
Chris and Anastasia are doing fine but there’s a little bit of hostility from Anastasia who brushes one of the sisters out of the way. It’s not too long before Chris drops his basket and they must start again.
Dave and Kelly are on their third attempt and finally make it to the finish. Dave gives one of the women a cheeky hug. They give some encouragement to Alana and Mel. They are so funny. Alana and Mel have also made it. They are back in this race. Ryot and Liberty are still selling bowls of food. Liberty kisses men for money (don’t ask) and it pays off. Chris and Anastasia finish in sixth place and their off to the beach. Mo and Mos are still selling and are nearly done. They finish in seventh and are too off to the beach.
Jeff and Luke finish their Carry in eighth place but leave before Mo and Mos. Sam and Renae have made it to the beach and are finding the right boat for the scuba. The girls are good at boat picking! Meanwhile, Liberty and Ryot finish their challenge while the occasionally borderline racist Joey with Richard is still going. Ann-Marie and Tracey finish their challenge before Richard and Joey in last place.
Back at the beach, Tyler and Nathan rock up and choose a boat quickly. They realise a boat has been chosen before bikers Kelly and Dave make it to the beach with Alana and Mel hot on their heels. Ryot vomits at the side of the road due to a lack of food and dehydration. She is clearly letting down the weird namers.
After the ad break; we get a lengthy recap of Ryot vomiting. Probably the low point of this show so far. Meanwhile; Sam and Renae make it to the island that just looks divine. They begin their scuba diving. Chris and Anastasia got dropped off at the wrong beach and Chris just looses it as Richard and Joey over take them. Mo and Mos, Luke and Jeff, Ryot and Liberty and Richard and Joey get to the beach at the same time. The farmers have already left. Chris and Anastasia are last. Sam and Renae retrieve their suit cases as the frat boys start their scuba. Sam and Renae start to count. Tyler retrieves the case for the frats as Kelly and Dave make it to the beach. The farmers get on with their dive as Sam and Renae are having trouble counting.
Tyler and Nathan begin counting as Tom retrieves the case for the farmers. Dave receives the case for the bikers as the farmers begin counting. The models are still struggling as Kelly and Dave begin. Richard and Joey begin their snorkel as do Ann-Marie and Tracey and Mo and Mos. FABelievers get their case and begin counting. Liberty and Ryot, Alana and Mel neck and neck with Alana and Mel surfacing first. Chris and Anastasia are on their boat. Mo and Mos are still scuba diving. Chris gets his case but Ann-Marie and Tracey are having some troubles. At one point, they get their case half way up to the surface before dropping it.
Most teams are now counting. The model’s lead now obliterated; some other teams are doing really well. Ryot and Liberty are really confident. Mo and Mos are trying to work out a routine before Nathan and Tyler and the farmers unsuccessfully try their first estimate. The lovebirds and Big W ladies make it to counting before the models have an unsuccessful estimate. Cracks show in the biker’s relationship before another unsuccessful estimate by the father/son team. The frats (surfers) try again unsuccessfully before the farmers have another unsuccessful bet. The lovebirds are cracking before the sisters and the bikers estimate wrong. Dave is frustrated and losing it. The farmers only just found out they dropped a note on the ground, picked up by a nice Dave.
The models finally get the right amount and are in first place. They must now catch local transport to the first pit stop. Dave and Kelly are in second place. Ryot & Liberty finally guess correctly in third place.
The models, Renae and Sam make it first to the pit stop and win $10,000 and the Express Pass. They become the first ever Australian team to reach a pit stop. Dave and Kelly, the bikers make it in second. So far, WA has two over the line. Ryot and Liberty make it in third place.
Meanwhile, Jeff and Luke finish their challenge as do the farmers. Nathan and Tyler are doing really poorly, now desperate to win. Richard and Joey are spitting the dummy. Nathan and Tyler muster up a win in sixth place. Chris and Anastasia are in seventh before Jeff and Luke reach the pit stop fourth. They are followed by farmers Matt and Tom in fifth place.
Nathan and Tyler finish in sixth after having the lead for most of leg 1. Chris and Anastasia finish in seventh place before Ann-Marie and Tracey estimate correctly. Mo and Mos, Richard and Joey and Alana and Mel are still counting when we go to ad break. Come on, SA!
Alana and Mel guess correctly and are ninth to leave before Richard and Joey and Mo and Mos. Ann-Marie and Tracey are eighth to enter and it’s a race to the finish for the rest. Alana and Mel are next to check in ninth with Richard and Joey in tenth.
Mo and Mos finish last but are not eliminated. This is a pre-determined non-elimination leg. They must finish first in the next leg otherwise they incur a 30 minute time penalty.
I must say, I’m not too happy that the first week had a non-elimination leg but overall, it was a fun, funny and exhilarating first episode through wonderful Indonesia. It has definitely got me wanting more. Note to Seven though; your ads are way too long!
Thanks for reading guys!
Courtney’s Verdict: 9.5/10