Hello everyone! I am such a huge fan of the TV series The Amazing Race (TAR) and Singapore has been featured in the (now defunct) Asian version, the Australian version (fate as yet unknown after 3 seasons) and the US version (which is still going strong). Whenever I visit a city that has been featured on TAR. I always make it a point to visit the various locations where the race has passed through. After all, the show’s producers often work with the local tourism boards to make sure they visit the most interesting and iconic locations to show the host city in the best possible light and of course, Singapore is no exception. I think it is great that Singapore is featured on such a popular TV programme as it is great publicity for Singapore and does wonders for Singapore’s tourism industry. Thus I am now compiling a list of places where the TAR (US and Australian versions) visited in Singapore so fans of the race can check these locations out.
TAR (US) Season 3 Leg 10 (2002)
Arriving from Kuala Lumpur, the teams first headed for National Orchid Garden (located in the Botanic Gardens): the teams had to search for ‘Margaret Thatcher’ which was an orchid named after the former British prime minister. They then had a choice of two detours: Wet or Dry. In ‘Dry’, they had to locate local comedian Gurmit Singh (as the character Phua Chu Kang from his popular TV show) in an apartment block in Choa Chu Kang. In ‘Wet’, they had to go to the zoo and retrieve their next clue from the manatee enclosure. The clue then directed them to the Fountain of Wealth at Suntec City, where they had to retrieve their next clue from the middle of the fountain that directed them to the pit stop on Mt Faber.
Memorable moments: It looked ludicrous to me how lost some of the teams got whilst trying to drive to Choa Chu Kang – I’m like, come on this is Singapore, all the signs are in English and the locals speak English, so even if you are a tourist, how can you possibly get lost in a place like Singapore? And as for meeting Phua Chu Kang, there were some confused looks when it came to his Singlish – okay, I know he is playing a character as Phua Chu Kang, but I’m afraid that Gurmit Singh’s epic Singlish was hopelessly lost in translation for the American racers (and no doubt the American audience as well).
|The contestants went into the HDB heartlands in search of Phua Chu Kang.|
TAR (US) Season 16 Leg 9 (2010)
Arriving from Penang via KL, the teams first headed to Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall and find Allan Wu, host of The Amazing Race Asia, where they could take the Fast Forward. The Fast Forward required teams to head to Singapore Flyer, where they would have to climb out of one observation pod at the top of the Singapore Flyer and then cross a ladder to the next pod over. The other teams had to do the detour: pounding the drums or pounding the pavement. In pounding the drums, the teams had to learn a Chinese drum routine at speakers corner. In pounding the pavement, the teams had to sell 25 ice cream sandwiches near Rochor Road before retrieving their next clue, which directed them to Istana Park for the U-turn. The team then headed to ASL Marine Shipyard for a roadblock where one team member had to count the links in an anchor chain. The teams then raced to Sentosa where they had to ride the Megazip before getting their last clue, which directed them to the pit stop at the Marina Barrage.
Memorable moments: This leg was dominated by the rivalry between ‘the models’ (Brent and Catie) and ‘the lesbians’ (Carol and Brandy). The models chose to U-turn the lesbians in Singapore out of spite, despite the fact that the lesbians were not the strongest team at that point and it was strategically a poor decision, as the models were eventually beaten into third place in the final. They could have used that opportunity to have eliminated a stronger team in order to improve their chances in the race. Seeing the lesbians get so angry after they got eliminated on the Marina Barrage was definitely an unforgettable moment – that must have been one of the most angry eliminations in the history of TAR.
TAR (US) Season 25 Leg 9 (2014)
Arriving from Malta vis Paris or Rome, the teams first took the boat to Pulau Ubin to retrieve their first clue which contained the first forward (a surfing challenge at Sentosa’s Wave House). Teams that chose not to do the fast forward went on to Marina Bay Sands to do a tight rope walk between the two towers on the 56th floor. The clue then directed teams to Raffles Place to pick up the next clue, which was a detour: “china cups” or “chilli crabs.” In “China Cups”, teams went to the Hong San See temple where they underwent a session of cupping therapy.In “Chilli Crabs”, teams went to the Red House seafood restaurant at The Quayside where they worked on Singapore’s most popular dish of chilli crab. Teams had to crack open enough crab claws, smothered in chilli sauce, to collect the crabmeat. Once teams had 2 pounds (0.91 kg), the head chef gave them the next clue.In “Chilli Crabs”, teams went to the Red House seafood restaurant at The Quayside where they worked on a dish of chilli crab. Teams had to crack open enough crab claws, to collect the crabmeat. Once teams had 2 pounds (0.91 kg), the head chef gave them the next clue. The clue instructed the teams to go to Fort Canning Park where there was a double U-turn. Teams picked up the next clue, which indicated that they would find their next clue at only one of the five official Merlion monuments throughout Singapore (two at Merlion Park, Sentosa, Tourism Court, and Mount Faber). Only the Merlion at Mount Faber had the next clue which advised teams to head to the Pit Stop at the Fullerton Pavilion.
.Memorable moments: Eventual winners Amy and Maya did the ‘China Cups’ challenge which turned out to be a lot more painful than they had originally anticipated: cue loads of close ups of Amy and Maya screaming in pain and the Chinese masseuses giggling as they reduced these big tough Americans to tears on the massage table. Singapore was also the leg where one of the favourites the cyclists Kym and Alli were eventually eliminated after having made a bad decision to go for the fast forward, they were comforted by the local pit stop greeter Melody, who was a Singaporean racer from TAR Asia (season 1).
|MBS is often heavily featured in recent TAR visits to Singapore.|
TAR (Australia) Season 1 Leg 12 (2011)
Arriving from Colombo, the teams went to Goh Chor Tua Pek Kong Temple where they had to break durians in front of the stage and search for a durian with a red colour inside with a brightly-coloured flesh to receive their next clue. The clue was for a detour: stair or dare. The teams had to either climb the stairs up 56 storeys at Marina Bay Sands or to do a scary tightrope traverse from one tower to the other. Teams then went to the Hong San See Taoist Temple where they had to take a 5-minute palm reading from a fortune teller at the temple in order to receive their next clue, sending them to Jurong Chinese Garden and find a statue of Confucius to search the area with their next clue.The clue teams instructed to travel to Singapore Flyer where they must ride inside one of the 28 Ferris wheel capsules and one of which contains their next clue, with 3 capsules have an actual clue to follow. If teams pick the wrong gondola, they have to do the full 20-minute rotation before picking a new gondola. The clue instructing teams to head for their final city: Perth.
Memorable moments: We could have guessed that no one would be eliminated in Singapore as there were only three teams left and this was the final leg – hence the viewers knew that there was a very high possibility that all three teams would be caught up at Changi airport for the next available flight to Perth eventually and that the possibility of one team being on a later flight was slim, thus the real manic race to the finish line was only going to start once they got out of the airport at Perth. Hence despite the fact that this was the grand finale, the pace wasn’t as manic as the other finals we have seen in other TAR finales. Hmmm.