It’s down to the Final Four and the penultimate episode for Season 32 (and hopefully NOT the series).
Episode 10 leg leaders Riley & Maddison are the first to depart the Pit Stop and kick-off episode 11.
ROUTE INFO: Proceed to Manila, the Philippines
All four teams will board the same flight to Manila and meet Phil at the Lapu Lapu Circle, a rarity for the teams to meet the host DURING the leg, leaving all four teams pondering the Manila protocol to come. The core alliance of three (Riley & Maddison, Hung & Chee, and Will & James) are all hoping for the final derailment of their former allies in the NFLers and are determined to be the last three teams this season.
The teams touch down in Manila and make their way to Phil at Lapu Lapu Circle and await his instruction. Phil advises the teams that for the first time in TAR history, the teams will compete in a “City Sprint” (cue James’ jaw drop). The City Sprint consists of the teams racing through the manic Manila streets, with no Road Blocks or Detours in sight, seeing the teams complete all tasks in their tandems, and ultimately looping back around to meet Phil at Lapu Lapu Circle.
Phil cautions the teams about their alliance and states this is now time to look out for number one as there is no room for error or friends when trying to make the final three. Phil then instructs the teams that their first clue will be inside one of the nearby marked jeepneys. We, the viewers, are the ultimate winners of the City Sprint as we get an extra seasonal serving of Phil’s trademarked “Good luck, travel safe, go!” accompanied by the signature arm raise and his newly added starter pistol.
Post-pistol, the teams sprint to their jeepneys to find their next clues.
ROUTE INFO: Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Teams must locate a death-defying-street-dancing traffic warden amidst a Manila intersection and grab a clue a-la drive-thru style service.
Will & James become increasingly aggravated by their jeepney driver as multiple teams pass them en route to the traffic warden. Riley & Maddison are the first to spot the traffic warden and receive the next clue, followed closely behind by the NFLers.
ROUTE INFO: Proceed to Mall of Asia
Teams must continue to travel via jeepney to Mall of Asia in Marikina to receive their next clue.
Hung & Chee missed their chance to go second as they were literally out of reach when driving past the warden, forcing the married duo to loop back around and revert through the Manila streets brimmed with traffic. Luckily for Hung & Chee, Will & James also suffered the same fate, seeing both teams fail to keep pace with the Beard Bros and NFLers.
The Beard Bros arrive at Mall of Asia, just as Will & James and Hung & Chee successfully receive their clue from the traffic warden.
ROUTE INFO: Hot on Your Heels
In the Philippines’ shoe capital, teams must complete a unique 500m running race in high heeled pumps to receive their next clue.
Not enough praise has been given to Phil this season (by me); the fact that he partook in this high heeled affair rather than just explaining what the teams will do is what a genuinely great host does.
Riley & Maddison maintain their lead as they complete the running race as the remaining three teams arrive and are ready to rock some heels.
ROUTE INFO: Proceed to Binondo Arch of Goodwill
Teams must search among the Binondo streets for the dancing lions (not actual lions), finding one with a clue in its mouth.
The Beard Bros begin their (fake) lion quest as the three remaining teams complete their high heeled hot step. Props to Will & James, who were able to run that race faster in heels than I could being chased by an actual lion.
Comedy Moment of the Night Nominee: “We actually caught up to Hung & Chee while running in the heels, and more importantly, we looked good while doing it.” – James
All four teams are now lion-bound, seeing DeAngelo & Gary the first to arrive at the Arch of Goodwill and find the correct lion, receiving their next clue.
ROUTE INFO: Proceed to Manila Central Post Office
Will & James are close behind the NFLers, seeing the Beard Bros slip into third, while Hung & Chee arrive at an entirely different arch. Riley & Maddison finally find their clue, as Hung & Chee continue their scrambling while on the lion prowl.
Comedy Moment of the Night: Hung going full-charades, mimicking a lion in front of police officers, as Hung & Chee ask everyone and anyone for directions.
DeAngelo & Gary arrive at the post office and receive their next clue.
ROUTE INFO: Hay Day
Teams must choose a horse, search the post office grounds for ingredients to feed their horse. Once they’ve fed their horse, teams will receive their next clue.
DeAngelo & Gary begin the task, as Will & James arrive, looking to upend the NFLers into first. Not only are Will & James incredibly quick on heels, but James is also even ready to “think like a horse” and make short work of this task; this team came into season 32 PREPARED.
Comedy Moment of the Night Nominee: “I can’t wait to not eat this.” – Will (when gathering ingredients)
Hung & Chee ultimately find their clue in the belly of the beast and make their way to a horse-feeding frenzy.
Will & James, the horse whisperers, quickly assemble their ingredients and leap into first place as the Beard Bros arrive at the task.
ROUTE INFO: Proceed to Mehan Garden
Teams are instructed to travel by foot (“Uggh, more running,” says James) to Mehan Garden, where a rock show is taking place, and where they will receive their next clue.
As per Will & James, Riley & Maddison pass a frustrated DeAngelo & Gary into second and finish the feeding task. Will & James arrive at Mehan Garden and receive their next clue.
ROUTE INFO: Ready to Rock
Teams must identify four music pieces that they’ve heard during The Race (Leg 5 France, Leg 2 Colombia, Leg 4 Paraguay, Leg 1 Trinidad and Tobago) at the garden rock show. Teams must find four instrument cases identified with the national flag representing the four countries they’ve heard the songs in. Teams will listen to the songs played in a particular order, but they will have to present their cases in the order they heard those songs on The Race to get their next clue.
If ONLY Phil and his pumps were on stage rocking out, that’s the world I want to live in.
Will & James aim to keep their lead as allies, Riley & Maddison, arrive. During this task, the first thought I had was that I really hope that these are empty instrument cases as the teams are throwing them about the truck and garden with reckless abandon.
Both instrument-damaging teams begin to dissect the band’s tune and start assuming the countries in question when the NFLers arrive. Will & James are first up for judgement and are given a failing grade, followed by Riley & Maddison, who are not given the go-ahead either.
The Garden Group continues to struggle, with DeAngelo seeing his idea for a groupthink immediately turned down by Will in an attempt to ensure their survival over last-placed Hung & Chee.
Speaking of Hung & Chee, the duo completes the horse-feeding task and makes their way to the rock show, attempting to close ground on the front three teams.
All four teams are now at the garden, all struggling to fine-tune their tune-finding. DeAngelo again prepositions the just-arrived Hung & Chee with the idea of working together, to again be turned down by another team within the core. Gary states that nobody’s going to help anybody…
Upon attempt after attempt and failure after failure by all, the core three DO decide to help one another as DeAngelo & Gary are away for judgement. The core begins to surmise their agreed-upon countries and try and decipher all possible flag formations while leaving the NFLers in the lurch. The allies agree that whoever gets the correct permutation first will tell the other two cored teams, leaving DeAngelo & Gary further estranged.
DeAngelo spots the three teams whispering and is quick to exclaim of an alliance betrayal as the core continues to plot together sans the NFLers, and to the shock of Gary.
Riley & Maddison head to the stage for judgment for their last of their 15 possible flag permutations and are stunned to be turned away once again, leaving the core three scratching their heads and DeAngelo & Gary with the possibility of usurping their betrayers.
The core three and DeAngelo & Gary continue to struggle, as Will stumbles upon the old Amazing Race adage: READ THE CLUE.
Aided by the adage, Will & James are the first of the four to realise that the order of play refers to the order in which the teams heard the songs during the RACE and not during the ROCK SHOW. The dating duo is quick to tell their allies and is ready to break free from the DeAngelo & Gary.
With this revelation in mind, the Beard Bros are up first and finally receive their clue, blatantly bypassing a fuming DeAngelo & Gary and informing their alliance of the correct order. The NFLers are defeated, as they take a penalty, all-but-knowing their time is up on The Race, as both Will & James and Hung & Chee are able to receive their clues.
- Team Number 1: Again, it’s Riley & Maddison. This team has been imposing throughout the season and is ostensibly peaking at the right time. They are certainly the team to beat going into the finale.
- Team Number 2: A-greeted-by-the-Beard-Bros and an emotional Will & James. The duo has an evident and endearing passion for The Race, which sees them rewarded with a final three appearance. Will & James have been the brain-trust behind the core alliance, and it has paid dividends at this final four.
- Team Number 3: Hung (and her underreported/under-appreciated Hung-roar) & Chee. The parents have made their daughters more than proud to place in the final three and have been perennial front-runners throughout this season. Are we due for another Hung-roar come the finale?
Naptime is over for DeAngelo & Gary as their two-hour time penalty is up, as the crushed duo make their way to Phil.
- Last Team to Arrive: DeAngelo & Gary. The NFLers are eliminated, with DeAngelo outwardly bitter about his time on The Race.
DeAngelo is sure to receive a lot of criticism for his attitude; however, I do believe this was purely just heat of the moment emotions getting to him. I’m sure he will be able to reflect positively upon his shared experience with Gary (who was the one urging DeAngelo/” D” to join him on the season).
Despite being shunned by their former allies, the NFLers did remarkably well and were exceptional casting, making great television. I regret my constant and lazy referral to them as NFLers as we learned so much about DeAngelo & Gary beyond their sporting backgrounds, as the pair come across as genuinely dynamic and intriguing individuals.
Next stop: New Orleans in the season’s final leg.
Power Rankings Based on Placement Average:
Riley & Maddison (3, 3, 4, 4, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1) 2.0
Will & James (4, 6, 1, 1, 4, 4, 1, 2, 2, 2) 2.45
Hung & Chee (1, 1, 2, 6, 2, 3, 3, 4, 3, 3) 2.50