Here's the way one of our cameramen looked after this extremely-long third episode for The Amazing Race Asia in New Zealand. After watching this episode, I have to conclude that one hour for all that went down simply does not do it justice. I can't even begin to describe all the drama that went down...but I'll highlight some of it.
This third leg started out really well. We were in Asia, and everyone was looking forward to heading to some cooler climate so New Zealand was the perfect stop after Hong Kong. In the picture above of my host crew, Sharon was happy taking pictures, Martin always is smiling after taking quality sound, and Yves enjoyed being back home in New Zealand. We were moving along smoothly with our "stand-ups" for the Road Block and Detour.
Here's a shot of the big casino Sky City in Auckland, which was also the location where teams from the first season of the TARA jumped off while their teammate had to take a picture of them. Do you remember that??
Now, when we finally arrived at the pit stop for this leg, which was very near to the abandoned psychiatric ward turned into a haunted house, that's when it started getting ugly. The picture above is one of the rooms from the haunted house containing jars of animal organs from brains to liver to intestines to kidneys...
...and it got uglier with other rooms decorated with dismembered humans and blood splattered everywhere. These were just two of the many scary rooms in the haunted house.
In case you might be wondering, this is all "only for show" and unreal, but the actors who performed at the attraction were very dedicated to scaring the crap out of anyone who entered the place. Quite a fun and crazy group of people. You can essentially experience Halloween anytime of the year here.
Now, I arrived at the pit stop just a little before sunset, and that's when I started receiving news about how the teams were faring. Only the two all-male teams of Marc/Rovilson and Adrian /Collin could negotiate the rock wall. It was actually a very difficult wall, and I'm not at all surprised the other teams faced so much difficulty negotiating it.
At the rowing, I couldn't believe how freezing the wind chill was so I was really feeling sorry for the various teams when I heard they had flipped over and fell into the water. I can only imagine how cold the water was. I had a good laugh though when I heard Henry couldn't really swing. That guy is ex-US Navy for God's Sake!
Now, the "best" part of this leg was waiting for Sophie and Aurelia to reach the pit stop. We kept on getting reports that this team had gone several hours in the complete opposite direction so we were all waiting for them. On top of it, Brett and Kinar couldn't do the rock wall challenge and were planning on waiting in their car all night until the morning to attempt the canoe challenge. Marc and Rovilson had checked in earlier that evening about 7 or 8 PM, and all of us were trying to stay warm for Sophie and Aurelia's arrival.
Even the actors from the haunted house were falling asleep and getting very antsy while waiting for this team.
Finally, Sophie and Aurelia reached the pit stop around 3 or 4 in the morning, and we were able to summon Brett and Kinar to be eliminated. This was definitely the most physically-demanding leg of the race thus far, and I only wish we had more time to show all the drama around all that happened in it. Nevertheless, Ariel and her editing team did a great job of capturing the essence of how serious and dramatic this leg was.
If you've seen the episode, you'll even notice my greeter at the pit stop took off before the final team arrived cuz he just couldn't stand waiting anymore. As tired as all of us were, we couldn't even really rest because we had to rush off to our next location with sunrise right around the corner. In a few hours, Marc and Rovilson would be racing again, and I promise you the next leg will be both "steamy and cool" at the same time!
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