23rd Oct: It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
After years of airing the American version of the Race, Australia’s Seven Network decided to make their own version, and the week after Unfinished Business concluded, The Amazing Race Australia premiered. The game was based mostly on the Asian version of the Race, still using the Marked for Elimination penalty that had long since abandoned by the American version. While casting overall was strong, and led to some entertaining interactions between the teams, the race suffered from a few glaring flaws.The course was heavily influenced by other versions of the Race, with tasks from both the American and Asian versions used liberally throughout the season (including the hair shaving Fast Forward from US 5, US 7, and Asia 4, the “My ox is broken” task from US 5, and the sheep pen task from US 2 and Asia 4). However, the tasks seemed to be placed randomly, leading to some Schizophrenic Difficulty. Add in the over-reliance on physical tasks (which tilted the season heavily towards the strong, male teams) and luck tasks (including three in the finale), and the inclusion of several mid-leg (and therefore equalizing) flights, meant the season suffered from many issues that had long since been (mostly) resolved in the American version. Still, the season was mainly a success, and the show was picked up for more seasons.
Tyler Atkins & Nathan JolliffeFriends and surfers, they were the prototypical alpha male team, good at physical tasks, decent at mental tasks, slightly on the dull side, and mostly cast to be man candy. The physical nature of the race played right into their strengths, and they never finished below third after the first leg. Luck tasks would give them a sizable lead in the finale, which gave them a buffer on the final flag task and allowed them to squeeze out the victory.
Renae Wauhop & Samantha "Sam" Schoers Friends and models, Renae was the runner up in Miss Universe Australia 2010. While on the surface they looked like a couple of Dumb Blondes, they immediately proved that wrong by winning the first leg. While their raw numbers make them look like an average team who managed to worm their way into the Final 3, they were much better than their finishing average indicates, several times getting ahead, only to hit a wall when faced with yet another brute force task that put them at a disadvantage against the strong male teams. Their resilient natures got them to the Final 3, where their luck finally ran out on the Ferris wheel task, preventing them from making the same flight as the other two teams back to Australia. Though they would pass up Jeff & Luke at the next luck task, Tyler & Nathan’s lead proved to be too much, and they wound up 2nd.
Jeffrey "Jeff" Downes & Lucas "Luke" Downes Estranged father and son team, Jeff and his wife split when Luke was 15, and the two did not see each other for years. Despite being 60, Jeff proved to be an adept physical racer, if not a mental one. They would take advantage of the physical nature of the race to make the Final 3, where they went into the jail cell task even with Tyler & Nathan, only to have trouble with both their keys and their choice of doors, dropping them to 3rd.
Matthew "Matt" Nunn & Thomas "Tom" Warriner Farmers and yet another alpha male team who took advantage of the overly physical course to stay near the front for most of the season. Though they stumbled near the middle of the season, they were coming on strong near the end, pulling off back-to-back victories before Matt struggled with the sewing Roadblock in the penultimate leg, pushing them out in 4th place.
Kelly Miller & Dave Miller Married bikers, and the "older" couple on the season. Their positive attitudes and self-aware humor masked their cutthroat nature for most of the season (though the other teams figured it out eventually). They made it all the way to leg 9, where they would get lost in Isreal, becoming the first Field Elimination in the Australian series.
Anastasia Natasa Drimousis & Chris Pselletes Typical fighting couple. They were a reasonably strong team, despite the bickering, and were cruising along until they hit the log cutting Intersection (borrowed from Family Edition) in leg 8, where Anastasia's inability to cut a log forced them to quit the task and take a penalty (forcing Sam & Renae to take a much shorter penalty as well) which proved too much to overcome, putting them out in 6th place. They would break up after the season.
Alana Munday & Mel Greig Reunited sisters, who were just getting to know each other again after Mel ran away at the age of 15. Their time apart became an obvious negative as they had many more communication issues than most sibling teams, and spent a lot of time bickering. They had issues in Prague when they struggled with the Delivery portion of the Roadblock, then again with the arrow shooting Detour, Alana getting passed up by the long trailing (Sam &) Renae.
Mohammed "Mo" El-Leissy & Mostafa "Mos" Haroun Rotund Muslim friends, they trailed at the back of the pack from the very beginning, miraculously surviving several times due to other teams' mistakes. They would ultimately get done in on leg 5, despite fate seemingly giving them every chance to survive, first when they got lucky with an Intersection (allowing them to catch up to Sam & Renae), then again when Chris & Anastasia lost their car keys (and even when, by a small miracle, Chris & Anastasia found the key, they were unable to open with without Sam & Renae's help).
Joey Toutounji & Richard Toutounji Married Entrepreneurs, they quickly became the villains of the season due to their over-competitive natures and abrasive personalities. After two lackluster legs, they saw an opportunity to grab the Fast Forward, and ended up having to shave their heads. Though they won that leg, karma struck them with a vengeance in the next leg, and they went home in 9th.
Anne-Marie Brown & Tracy Read Big W workmates, they were ill fit to run the race, and were the season's attempt at a feel-good story. They were ultimately done in by the zodiac challenge, taking a four hour penalty when they were unable to complete it, and finishing 10th.
Liberty Wilson & Ryan "Ryot" Wilson Siblings, the brother and sister of comedienne Rebel Wilson. They would fall first when Ryot struggled with the order of the coins in the Roadblock in Vietnam.