thats what I always thought 5 sometimes 6
11th place,10th place, 9th place, 8th place and 7th place go to ES...
then 6th place, 5th place and 4th place are decoys
then other 3 battle it out for 1 million dollars
An important factor is where the teams are eliminated geographically.
For instance, TAR 12 ES was in Portugal to absorb the Europe elims (aside from Azaria + Hendekea).
TAR 13's was in Mexico, and the last team to arrive was from Cambodia.
TAR 14's was in Phuket, and the last team to arrive was from just nearby, Mel and Mike.
TAR 15's was in Vietnam, and teams eliminated in Dubai were sent there.
Thus, if TAR 16's was in Mexico, we can assume that by the time the race reaches Oceania/Asia, there should be only 6 teams remaining. The others have been sent to the villa from SA, Europe, and/or Africa.