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 Jolliffe
Friends 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.
- Born Lucky: They always seemed to breeze right through the abundance of luck tasks, particularly those in the finale.
- Cutting the Knot: When Nathan grew tired of digging through a mine cart full of salt, looking for a key, he just tipped the cart over and sifted through it that way.
- Failed a Spot Check: Their cab driver pulled up right next to the first clue box in Prague, but they failed to see the clue, running into a building across the street instead, with four other teams following them the wrong way (only Alana & Mel and Chris & Anastasia spotted the clue box on first glance).
- Mr. Fanservice
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.
- Action Girl: The only females to make the top 4 on a course clearly suited for strong male competitors. They were only the second team in the entire series to beat the "Marked for Elimination" penalty without a Fast Forward, coming in first after placing last the previous leg, despite the fact that they also had another penalty under their belts on the same leg.
- Born Unlucky: The course itself seemed out to get them, and the luck tasks pretty much cost them the finale.
- Dumb Blonde: Subverted, they powered through the first leg, overtaking an overwhelming number of more physically imposing teams, and eventually snagged a first place finish. Come the final four, they were the only females left on the race, and beaten the rarely defeated "Marked For Elimination" penalty to make the Final 3.
- Expy: The comparisons to Dustin & Kandice came quickly after the first leg, which then led to Tyler & Nathan being compared to Tyler & James.
- Global Ignorance: In episode 8, Sam asked if Poland was near Antarctica.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Dave & Kelly.
- Ms. Fanservice
- No Sense of Direction: Went an hour and a half in the wrong direction in Israel in leg 9 and survived the leg with Dave & Kelly getting even more lost. The lack of equalizer in the next leg earned got them Marked for Elimination
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.
- Badass Grandpa: Jeff at 60 years old thrived on a very physically intensive season.
- Cool Old Guy
- Honor Before Reason: On the leg 6 Roadblock, Matt burned through his entire allotment of arrows. Luke, instead of forcing Matt to take a four-hour penalty and guaranteeing their continued safety in the race, not to mention nearly guaranteeing the elimination of a team that had so far been racing near the front, gave Matt his leftover arrows.
- Mr. Fanservice: Luke according to Renae who was "enjoying the scenery" watching him perform the log cutting task
- No Sense of Direction: According to Tyler & Nathan.
- Out of Focus: They were the least focused on team at every stage of the game.
- Unskilled, but Strong: They struggled at the few mental tasks that they came across.
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.
- Cassandra Truth: They tried giving advice to Sam & Renae on the picture taking task in leg 7, telling them not to take a photo of the guy waving the big flag, but due to there being two guys with flags, and the guys finding the wrong one, the girls were convinced that Matt & Tom were trying to get them eliminated.
- Disqualification-Induced Victory: They survived the 8th leg after Chris & Anastasia took a four-hour penalty for not being able to complete the log cutting task.
- Expy: They bear a striking resemblance to Jet & Cord. From them being farmers, to their "hickish" accents, black and white cowboy hats, and the other teams often referring to them as "cowboys", it's hard to believe this casting was not deliberate, especially since the season directly followed Unfinished Business.
- Failed a Spot Check: They failed to notice that, during the money-counting task in Indonesia, they had dropped one of the money notes, and only discovered this when Dave picked it up for them. This cost them a few places.
- Global Ignorance: On leg 2 Matt asked where to get bus tickets from Indonesia to Vietnam.
- In-Series Nickname: The Cowboys
- Informed Ability: Matt's ability to shoot. Apparently he's been shooting things since the age of four, but he performed poorly on the skeet shooting Detour, and was the only contestant to use all his arrows on the archery Roadblock without completing the task, and had to resort to begging the other teams for their unused arrows to avoid a four hour penalty.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Even more-so than Jeff & Luke.
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.
- Alpha Bitch
- The Load: Anastasia, aside from costing them the race, also spent a lot of time complaining and fighting with Chris, which did not do the team any favors either.
- The Masochism Tango
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 Roadblock, 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).
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The things that set off the other racers about Richard & Joey? First and foremost, for most of the teams, was the fact that they were annoying and demeaning to the locals of whatever country they visited. But to Mo & Mos? The fact that Joey accidentally took one of their pens.
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.
- Baby Talk: Joey had an annoying habit of talking this way to non-English speakers, as if it would make them understand better. Instead, it came off as demeaning.
- Bald of Evil: After the Fast Forward.
- Bald Women
- Catch Phrase Spouting Duo: "Focus, Believe, Achieve!"
- Competition Freak
- Humiliation Conga: In their second-to-last leg they shaved their heads to win a Fast Forward, then in the next leg dropped from first to last after getting their car bogged in a mud pit, Richard hammered his own thumb during a building Detour, they were U-Turned, and finally got a stubborn goat that cost them the race.
- Laser-Guided Karma: They managed to piss everyone else off in the early legs. In South Africa, their four wheel drive got bogged, allowing all the other teams to pass them, and consequently Tyler & Nathan to U-Turn them. Even though they managed to catch up to Mo & Mos, the goat they needed to take to the witch-doctor didn't want to move, resulting in them coming last and being eliminated.
- Stubborn Mule: The goat that essentially cost them the Race.
- This Is A Race: While this season was much more lighthearted and friendly than many of the concurrent American versions (at least early on), Richard & Joey were the main exception at first.
- Traumatic Haircut: The Fast Forward for Joey, who couldn't stop whining about her extensions.
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.