After discovering the show, I started a marathon watching the teams as they quickly moved from one city to the next, completing challenge after challenge. The Amazing Race: China Edition is sponsored by Infinity and produced by Shenzhen TV.
New York, United States
This was the first leg of the race, with contestants coming on two flights, two hours apart. For them, it was exploring a new world, but for me, it was like watching them run around in a place I was familiar with. When they came, it was the summertime, but this year, the weather was at a comfortable number. They tasted a bit of what NYC had to offer: large crowds, taxis, Times Square, hot dogs, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. They also uncovered new places that I would not have known otherwise, such as the Hollywood Stunts center, where participants were hung midair to remove an outerwear before they had to jump off a height equivalent to two stories high.
Texas, United States
Texas, located further south and therefore on the hotter side, so they sweated some more there. Texas offered them a taste of the west, from cowboy dances to armadillos to large barrels of hay. The cowboy dancing was very entertaining because some teams got it on the first try, while others took a few more tries before they succeeded. It was also very exciting to watch Ekin and Jordan run back and forth: from the antique photo place to the wall of photos where they would have to copy the exact pose and clothing. If they were off, they would have to take off the antique wardrobe, run to the wall of photos, run back, and try again. The zip-line challenge looked really fun and scary at the same time. They had to memorize the drawings and then arrange them in order.
This leg in India required a lot of cleaning afterwards. Teams that chose to transport live fishes on their heads with large baskets were drained with sweat and smelly water from the fishes. The Bollywood Studio challenge was a pain for many groups because they had to correctly pronounce a script in Hindu as well as do a whole dance before they could proceed. Li Xiaopeng and Angel Li were the only ones who managed to complete the task in one take. Their next clue was given to them as a henna tattoo on their arms, but, it was raining, so they had to shield their clue from being washed away. The other challenge was finding a person in a Holli festival, where many participants were bombed with colored dye.
Jaipur was observation intensive. Teams had to unwrap turbans from 50 men walking to find their first clue. Many teams first thought they were to find a card, only to realize the clue was written on the cloth. One of the challenges required them to make 50 dung cakes and smack them onto a wall. Because only the first team would be allowed to proceed to the pit stop without having the complete the other challenges in the Jaipur, Ekin and Jordan basically went there and did it all for nothing because Wallace and Jackie beat them. Ekin and Jordan also spent a lot of time at the yoga place, trying to do the five demonstrated poses in two minutes. At the end, they ended up transporting pottery instead in the rain, which delayed them by a lot of time. To find the clue to the pit stop, teams were directed to the Hawa Mahal, in which they seemed to walk through a maze before they finally found the clue card. The weather in India seemed very wet and humid.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
It was nice to see them in Dubai because I’ve always heard Dubai was a place one should visit once in a lifetime. So we learn that the spider lily flower was the inspiration of the world’s tallest building: the Burj Khalifa. Next they had to go to either snow sledding or car racing through a track of cones. How nice was it to escape the heat! The sledding took a while because they could not manage how to knock down twelve large pins, until Calvin Chen demonstrated and knocked down all of them in one go! The most interesting element when teams participated in camel polo was that the participants wearing green vests always won the participants wearing red vests. Next, one in each team had to skydive. Exciting, but it’s still a race against time! The last challenge was to clean and arrange a room in the Burj Al Arab hotel, the iconic symbol of Dubai. This leg showed us all the destinations that are a must see in Dubai.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The hardest challenge in this leg was to find the five women in a house based on their eyes. It seemed hot and dry watching them with a metal detector in the sand, searching for a lamp. When they finally found the lamp, they had to carry it well back to the pit stop. This leg was also the first time where teams could work with another team to construct a tent in the desert. I almost jumped up each time as the teams had to jump up to grab colored flags in the rafting challenge at Wadi Adventure. The entire water park is man-made, but the waves caused many team members to fall and flip from the raft.
The statues part was entertaining because they had to place the correct props to the four Ancient Greek gods and goddess for them to come to life. The watermelon challenge was difficult in that they had to get in the correct position, angle, and aim for the watermelon to successfully hit the scarecrow. In the Greek dinner party imitation, the participant had to observe all of the surroundings in the time given, and then answer the question as selected by the teammate. Many teams ended up guessing the answer. The most physical activity required of the race was perhaps to run eight laps, totaling 3000 meters in the Panatheniac Stadium.
Known for the white rooftops filled with ambient lighting, Santorini was the second stop in Greece. They had to deliver 120 eggs to a restaurant, via a donkey. Along the way, there were stairs, but Li Xiaopeng developed a system to notify their donkey and therefore made it to the restaurant with no broken eggs. The Aegean Sea was absolutely breathtaking, where teams had to transport water through tossing water in buckets. When they dived underwater with a key in hand to open the treasure boxes to obtain the next clue, Ekin completed it in no time!
Seoul, South Korea
Back to Asia, their first stop was South Korea. Li Xiaopeng and Wallace attracted some Chinese fans to help them with the jump rope challenge, where teams had to gather ten people to jump in, one after another. Teams excitedly caught five octopuses and delivered them to a designated smaller tank before they found out they had to eat them live! Some ate them with spices and some tried to kill them before swallowing them whole. Imagine something slimy and moving down your throat! Ekin and Jordan refused to eat, resulting in a time penalty. Finding Miss Korea 2014 in a group of 50 women was difficult, as her picture shown looked different than her in reality…
Hong Kong, China
I’ve watched TVB for so many years, but I have not once seen or heard of Jumbo Kingdom. An eyeopener, to get there, teams had to get on a boat. And the challenge there was to find one plate of dimsum, out of 70+ that was fake. If he/she was wrong, the other team member had to eat it. Angel Li was observant and lucky to pass in one go. The locals were not as helpful and were reluctant to give up their spots waiting on the taxi line when teams had to hail a taxi to the pit stop.
Even more terrifying than skydiving and rock climbing, one member of each team had to “walk” down the facade of a glass building to obtain the next clue. I was literally sweating while watching them complete the task. In a whole pool filled with globes, they had to find the correct one that marked all the countries they visited. The ultimate winners were Wallace and Jackie.
I finished all ten episodes in a span of four days. It was just so exciting and fun to watch them race in each city!