Click here for review of The Amazing Race Season 5 Episode 2
*This article contains spoilers for The Amazing Race Asia Season 5 Episode 1*
I had been kept on the edge of my seat during the entire media preview screening of the premiere episode of The Amazing Race Asia Season 5.
Kicking off in Jakarta
Kicking off in Jakarta, Indonesia, 11 teams from around Asia converged at the starting line at Monas, the National Monument of Jakarta… just in time to hear the first shocking twist of the new season from show host Allan Wu: that one team would be eliminated right after the starting line.
He may have looked strict and stern when he was delivering the plot twist, but Wu, 44, had himself admitted later that he was also not pleased to do so. He said, “I felt for the teams. These are all amazing contestants; they have worked so hard to be here, only to find out that one of them would not last the first five minutes on the show. It was tough on them.”
This challenge, which took up the first 20 minutes of the episode, had tested the teams’ navigational skills, as they had to search the walls of 1,000 compasses to find one that reads 210 degrees South West.
Lisa & Nicole are eliminated
Lisa & Nicole, life partners from Vietnam, were unable to find the correct compass and they were the team to be eliminated right after the starting line.
As the tears showed on the show, it had been definitely harsh on them.
This is not the biggest shocker of the season
But according to Wu though, this is not the biggest surprise of the new season. He said, “there will be so many more surprises that can still happen, but then again that is why we watch reality TV. A scripted programme is one thing, but reality is better than any script. What you see on TV, is really and truly happening.”
The first detour challenge
From there, the other ten teams headed to Museum Bahar for their first detour, where they have to choose between Fix and Freight.
- Fix – Teams have to make their way to Fatahilah Square to fix and finish assembling a colourful bicycle
- Freight – Teams head to Sunda Kelapa where they have to unload cargo from the hull of a traditional Indonesian trading vessel onto a waiting pallet
Apparently the ‘fix’ challenge was not as easy as it seems, with tension running high as the teams struggle to get things right.
Rei & Keiji were one of the teams to have chosen ‘fix.’ Said Kenji, 33, a YouTuber, “The emotions are definitely high; the audience may be sitting at hone watching and they think, ah this challenge is so easy! But when you are put on the spot, then the pressure is on.”
He added, “We all know how to tie ropes, and of course it would have been easy to do it perfectly fine and with no pressure, but considering we had been the last team to reach there, we were like, crap are we doing it right?”
Rei & Keiji had also been the last team to complete the ‘fix’ challenge.
Finding their next clue
After the detour, the ten teams then made their way to Kebun Raya Bogor (Bogor Botanic Gardens) to find their next clue in the hands of an Ondei Ondei (a giant Indonesian folk puppet), after which they had to match the puppets from which they took the clue, to its female counterpart.
However many teams had found themselves lost, due to the sheer size of the Gardens.
But after finding their puppets, teams received a clue to tell them to go to the first pit stop of the race – the Presidential Palace, where Allan Wu and co-host Tara Basro were waiting. The last team to check in ‘may be eliminated’ from the race.
Malaysians Alphaeus & Brandon had been the first to reach the pit stop – their reward was a pair of tickets to Bali, courtesy of Garuda Indonesia.
Coming in second in the episode, had been Treasuri & Louisa and rounding off the top three teams were Singaporeans JK & Mike.
Rei & Keiji were eliminated, being the last team to arrive at the pit stop.
Said Keiji, “I apologise to all Singaporeans. We did our best.”
A nail biting episode
Overall it was definitely a nail-biting episode, with plenty of action and adventure going on, including the first fight of the season – between Rach & Vicky when they had been struggling with each other and could not come to an agreement during the ‘Freight’ challenge.
As host Wu sums up, “This is one of the shows that you want to watch; honestly even though the show will be aired the whole week you want to watch it the night that it premieres… because everyone will be talking about… how great the host is! Oh I’m referring to the female host… oh, just kidding!”
The Amazing Race Asia airs on Thursdays at 9:00pm (SINGAPORE) first and exclusively on AXN.
Channel 511 (StarHub TV)
Channel 304 (Singtel TV)