Since we are at the halfway point of TAR22, I would like to reflect back and review on the first half.Leg 1 (United States --> French Polynesia
And off of the Griffith Observatory grounds, the eleven new teams had to fly from LAX to Bora Bora! No starting line challenge = no time wasted. That was a fairly good sign there. After landing in Bora Bora, the first Roadblock brought "Amazing" to a beautiful bird's eye view of the island in the Pacific. Then appears the dreaded double Roadblock. As much as I loved the concept of the task, I didn't like how teams were able to quit to be ahead, so a lukewarm response is acceptable.LEG 2 (French Polynesia)
Usually Leg 2s are the bore w*ores of the season, but this one was full of excitement and pure "AMAZ"ement. Visiting a couple motus and an in-water Detour was creativity at its finest. The Detour proved to be rather simple and easy, but manageable. The jet ski ride to the Roadblock motu was fascinating and so much fun as I have been jet skiing with friends in the Great Lakes before. I can explain how each of the ten teams felt while on them. The Roadblock was challenging and quite daring. Probably one of the first times "coconut stilt soccer" has been played in the French Polynesia. Overall, a unique leg.Leg 3 (French Polynesia --> New Zealand)
The nine teams flown from the desolate islands of Polynesia to the tranquil countryside of southern New Zealand. I have to say, this is one of the least likable legs in Phil's home country. How could WRP do such a thing to "try to degrade" Phil's hometown.
This leg looked more suitable for Alabama than New Zealand. Seriously, nothing was touched on the NZ countryside... a random slolam course, fishing (thank goodness Chuck & Wynona made this entertaining), and then there is "shemozzle", "shmuzzle", "shlossel"? The heck is that?
I would have rather seen teams sheer tie-dyed sheep than this tomfoolery. At least that's a real four-day fun festival in NZ. Then, Dave & Connor get the finished RB edit. What did the other teams do, quit the RB? I dislike the schmoss-whatever, but I'd like to see editing do better than have unfinished production.LEG 4 (New Zealand --> Indonesia)
And the nine teams are off to another island, Indonesia... for the third time. However, this one was way better than the ones from TAR19 or 21. The monkey & coconut additional task was cute and creative. I officially want a capuchin monkey as a pet... thanks for the suggestion Caroline & Jennifer!
The Detour was ridiculously boring for me. Nothing was eye catching or appealing for me watching teams make an offering or umm... what was it... Sandy Bottom. Other than the ritual parade to the temple, I didn't like the Detour. Simply that. The Roadblock was cool, thanks for the help of Chuck & Wynona scrambling about the beach looking for Phil. I like the early beginning for a memory task, but it was really awkward to bring it to the Pit Stop to check in. It wasn't like the season 10 pendant, season 12 chicken, or the ever so famous Travelocity gnome. "Cute" leg, but it was still a little underwhelming. No more Indonesia after this, please.LEG 5 (Indonesia --> Vietnam)
Aside from the annoying, but debatable controversy, I felt great with this leg. Congratulations for ruining the plausible chance of having an all-island season. The Roadblock was creative and the memorization of a special phrase is unique. I felt like dancing the "Twinnies jig" (from their Fallopian tubes Roadblock) to the song they sang. The bamboo additional task looked easy, but still teams struggled with it... Chuck & Wynona. The Detour felt off with the chess and pho choices. The chess was pretty straightforward and easy. Matching costumed people to a chessboard as a reference. The pho was a little difficult with the language barrier, but teams received help from the locals which made it easier and all they needed to do is weigh them and follow instructions to make pho. I thought Maria & Tiffany's pho Speed Bump was much better and more entertaining than this though.LEG 6 (Vietnam --> Botswana)
Teams transition from Asia to Africa! Yay! And they went to the most known salt pan reserve in Botswana, Makagadi-whatever Pans National Park. I think the only reason why this leg was so good was the bushmen's sense of humor and hospitality towards the racers. The Roadblock was scary and those bushmen are just "AMAZING"! for tranquilizing the scorpion in his mouth. Stink it to death.
Loved it. The Detour was rather boring. Making fire is a hard task, but unbearable to watch. Thanks Becky and Sundra! The "turkey" trap construction was cool, but also not that cheerful to jump to. The bushmen sure know how to create some humor into this leg because the racers weren't bringing it this leg. Let's hope Sunday we will see crocodile and donkey mania erupt.