The Amazing Race Australia 2019 – “We’re Going To Hell”

Launching into a new era for The Amazing Race Australia, 10 premiered the opening week of its edition of the hit Reality TV show. So let’s explore the Seoul soul of this returning show’s first week.

NOTE: Unlike Survivor, I will not be recapping the entirety of each episode of The Amazing Race Australia, simple highlights and plot points will be discussed, to focus more on the review aspect of this blog.


Eleven teams embarked on a journey around the world as Beau Ryan hosts the return of The Amazing Race Australia, this time on Channel 10. Among the teams are: Nuns, Judy & Therese; Footy Mates, Tom & Tyler; Dating Influencers, Sid & Ash; and Gen-Z Siblings, Alana & Niko.

Beginning in Seoul, South Korea, alliances already began to form between Tom & Tyler, and Mighty Siblings, Viv & Joey. The pair worked together in the first Route Information segment, with the boys slightly ahead throughout the entire leg. Sisters, Hayley & Mikayla didn’t need the alliance to get ahead however, as they worked hard to stay at the front of the pack.

Host Beau Ryan and all eleven teams competing in The Amazing Race Australia stand at the starting line in Seoul, South Korea.

In contrast, the Nuns, Dating Influencers, and Gen-Z Siblings sat near the rear of the pack, making small mistakes consistently through the race. Well, for the former two anyway. Alana & Niko struggled to find a taxi, drove an hour to the wrong destination point, and completely missed even playing in the first Roadblock.

Gen-Z Siblings Alana & Niko were the first team eliminated from The Amazing Race Australia 2019.

In the end, Tom & Tyler came in first place, beating their allies Viv & Joey who came in second. Sid & Ash managed to take 9th place, before Judy & Therese who were surprised to learn they placed 10th. With a disappointing start and continuous bad luck throughout the leg, Alana & Niko fell well too far behind and were ultimately eliminated from the season, making history as one of the only teams in The Amazing Race to complete neither a Roadblock, or a Detour.

A full list of the placements for the first leg of the race are as follows:
1st - Tom & Tyler, Footy Mates
2nd - Viv & Joey, Mighty Siblings
3rd - Hayley & Mikayla, Sisters
4th - Tim & Rod, Newlyweds
5th - Femi & Nick, Psychiatric Nurses
6th - Jasmin & Jerome, Indigenous Parents
7th - Chris & Adrienne, Married Alpaca Farmers
8th - Rowah & Amani, Mother and Daughter
9th - Sid & Ash, Dating Influencers
10th - Judy & Therese, Nuns
11th (Eliminated) - Alana & Niko, Gen-Z Siblings

Now down to only ten teams, it was time for a change of scenery as the cast travelled from Seoul, South Korea to… Cheorwon, South Korea. We saw the previous fronts of the pack continue to push through as a dominant force, with all four top teams equalling their final positions on the leg.

Nurses, Femi & Nick, beat Nuns, Judy & Therese, in a footrace to the pit stop, where the Nuns were eliminated from The Amazing Race Australia.

Sid & Ash cemented their ‘villain’ status with some quick-witted tactics as first seen in the premiere, but we’ll expand more on that in a bit. Some problems and delays with taxis saw some teams switch places, but ultimately, it came down to a narrow finish between the Nuns and the Psychiatric Nurses, as Femi & Nick managed to beat Judy & Therese to the pit stop, sending the ladies home after only two legs of the race.

A full list of the placements for the second leg of the race are as follows:
1st - Tom & Tyler, Footy Mates
2nd - Viv & Joey, Mighty Siblings
3rd - Hayley & Mikayla, Sisters
4th - Tim & Rod, Newlyweds
5th - Jasmin & Jerome, Indigenous Parents
6th - Chris & Adrienne, Married Alpaca Farmers
7th - Sid & Ash, Dating Influencers
8th - Rowah & Amani, Mother and Daughter
9th - Femi & Nick, Psychiatric Nurses
10th (Eliminated) - Judy & Therese, Nuns


I am so happy TAR Australia has made a comeback to television. Admittedly, I’m not the hugest fan of the show but I absolutely love watching it and have seen a bulk of the American format, and watched the first two seasons that screened on Channel Seven. But, none of us could expect perfection. There are a majority of extremely great aspects of the show, but some deficiencies that may be ironed out next season must be mentioned.

Firstly, the casting is INSANE. Not only have we finally got a show, a Reality show at that, that represents the diverse culture of Australia, each team competing brings something new, exciting and fun to the game.

Footy Mates, Tom & Tyler, play the cup stacking detour in the first leg of the race.

Of course, Tom & Tyler are the expected alpha males that I identified pre-season. So it comes to no one’s surprise they placed first in both legs of the race so far. Watching them struggle in the first detour was interesting, considering how frustrated (I wanna say) Tyler got in not completing it. Frustration leads to failure. And so many other teams were able to seemingly nail it in only a few attempts. Viv & Joey were a bit of a surprise to be so high on the totem board, especially when I realised how small they were at the starting line. I couldn’t believe how short they were so good on them for joining and managing to play so well thus far. Hayley & Mikayla are fun too, although we haven’t expanded too much on them as the show could have. They show great qualities to be the alpha females of the race, and I hope there’s some more background to their story that we learn next week.

Our middle of the roaders Jasmin & Jerome, Chris & Adrienne and Tim & Rod all have something more to their background to give. I loved the frustration from Chris & Adrienne to their taxi driver’s lack of knowledge to the next destination, but something that made me put a question mark over my head was why Chris felt the need to mention his nice hat ‘was coming off’. There wasn’t much substance to suggest the other teams believed he was playing nice. So maybe that’s something that was edited out or presumed by the team, but if it was the former, it feels a little off to not even show anything. But a one hour show’s gotta do one hour show things. I’m excited to see the physicality of the other two teams mentioned progress, as both appear capable to take on the likes of the Footy Mates.

While Rowah & Amani stayed in their placement for both legs, I think it’s a matter of the show’s format for the first two legs (and that goes for the rest of the teams too). I certainly think they’re capable to be good performers, if not sabotaged of course. And then there’s Femi and Nick, who did decently well in the first leg but got behind in the second. I don’t think it was made entirely clear why they got so far behind. Sure, they had some delays to the first Route Information destination, but other than Sid & Ash’s purposeful attempt to put them behind them (which is discussed in the next paragraph), I couldn’t truly understand why they were as far behind as they were. But DAMN. That foot race against the Nuns was insane. They worked hard to get ahead of them despite being a good distance behind, and they nailed it. If it was any other team though, I’d say they’re goners. Congrats boys.

Sid & Ash, Dating Influencers, moments after stealing one of the Nuns’ dumplings during the dumpling folding detour in the first leg.

That brings me to Sid & Ash who I LOVE. In Episode 1, they stole a dumpling from the Nuns, adding to their total needed for the detour’s completion, and in Episode 2 told Femi & Nick they needed to carry more tires than necessary, which then seemed to be a ripple effect to them narrowly beating the Nuns from being eliminated. Sid also shook the rope during the obstacle course while Rowah was holding it, potentially causing a momentarily stop to their pace. But we need a good villain. Villains make shows fun. And while there’s been some discrepancy over whether they were allowed to steal from the Nuns because of the rules in overseas editions, clearly it didn’t go against the rules for Australia’s version, whether it accounts for sabotage or not. It was extremely quick thinking for the latter two villainous attempts, but in no way do I think they’re bad people. A villain is a character, and Sid & Ash are game players, here to win $250,000. I think they’re playing smart and if they’re able to make it near the front of the pack, I can’t wait to see what they’d pull to win a leg instead of just attempting to not come last. I’m here for them.

Now to our eliminated teams, Alana & Niko were really awesome and I really wanted to see more from them but complacency in believing they saw something as right just failed for them. While the Nuns made sure to confirm their postcard was either right or wrong, it appeared as if the Siblings saw their postcard and jumped at the chance to stay in the race. It did just all go wrong and we can’t really blame them. And while I didn’t predict they’d go first, I didn’t predict anyone would go first so I’m not counting it as a total flop in pre-season predictions. Judy & Therese on the other hand, I NAILED. I correctly guessed they’d survive a leg, and be out in 10th or 9th place, but I also was accurate in believing it’d be a foot race that would cost them, so much so they were overtaken right at the last minute. I get that it would have been hard after pushing themselves so much but I couldn’t help but scream at the fact they were so close to the finish but just missed out because they couldn’t reach the end. I personally wasn’t the biggest fans of the two, but they were likable and adorable to watch, so I get the fascination with them on Twitter.

The Nuns, Judy & Therese, competing in the ‘All Thumbs’ option of the detour during the second leg that took them 90 minutes to complete, significantly setting them back and ultimately costing them their position in the show.

Moving away from the teams, I was a little disappointed we stayed in South Korea for both legs. The first leg, I understand. But there really should have been a new destination for the second. A flight can often be an equaliser. Sometimes teams begin the leg in the lead because of the finish in the previous leg, but everyone stays relatively equal because a flight puts all the teams at the same time. This was avoided in Episode 2 with no flight, so it’s no surprise our top four remained at the beginning, and the bottom four of the first leg were in the bottom five of the second leg. Did they really have a chance to catch up? This, I believe, should be a fundamental portion to every leg. If not a flight, then a roadblock that opens at 8am, so the first maybe six teams get there and they’re all equal to each other. We need equalisers. We want equalisers. Fingers crossed the rest of this season and next season delivers.

Beau Ryan, the new host of The Amazing Race Australia, explaining some Route Information of the second leg of the race.

I love the challenges, they’re classic TAR games and they’re making me go, “I could do that”. That’s a great plus for the production team. But there’s been mixed reviews about one final thing, the host. Beau Ryan is a funny guy. He’s energetic too. But the vibe is too much, or as one Tweeter said, OTT. Compared to Phil Keoghan, or even Grant Bowler, the mellow and cool, calm and collected attitude of the two just wasn’t present at all with Beau. And there’s some aspects that are Beau focused, which aren’t necessary. It’s like the Little Big Shots show in America, where it’s Steve Harvey with kids, not kids with Steve Harvey. Similarly, this seems like Beau Ryan with racers, instead of racers with Phil Keoghan as the legendary kiwi host. I don’t at all think he’s terrible. But the energy, I believe is too much, especially at the pit stop. There’s no need to be so excited for every pit stop arrival, or at the start of the race, he was way more excited than some teams. It felt awkward. I think he’s a fine host for the show. I’m sure everything can be justified and some may tweak for next season. His delivery of Route Info, Detours etc, they’re all fine. It’s just those main camera moments, unfortunately. But everyone’s got an opinion, and really, Beau’s a 7/10 for me. So not bad. One thing I did miss… “You’re team number ___”! Where’s the catch phrase! “You’re the _____ team to check in”, just isn’t right. It’s not even, “arrive”, as Keoghan says for the last place team. I really miss that. Sure, you can’t COPY the original. But there’s a fine line between change and same. Jonathan LaPaglia does a great job with this in Australian Survivor, keeping iconic phrases like “come on in guys” and, “the tribe has spoken”. But altering not so memorable phrases, like “I’ll go tally the votes” to, “I’ll go count the votes”. I don’t know if that’s a production call or a Beau call, but I’ll blame production. Let’s fix that next season.

Overall, The Amazing Race Australia is a really good blast from the past that’s got a great mix of nostalgia, diverse casting, and production brilliance. I really hope it stays on TV for next year, even as early as it is to call it in Week 1, but it’s a fun-loving show not as strategic as Survivor, as intense as The Bachelor/ette, or as stupidly fame-grabbing as Love Island. Give it a watch, it’s pretty good.

That’s the review for today, I’ll be back later this week to continue Survivor: Island of the Idols and then again next week for The Amazing Race Australia.

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The Amazing Race Australia 2019 continues Monday and Tuesday at 7:30pm on Channel 10!


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