Premiering a week after the US Season 20 finale
, the second season of the Australian version of the Race not only far surpassed either of the efforts the American version put out over the past year, but was comparable to the best seasons in the franchise. While the first Australian season was a decent race, the second fixed many of the problems that plagued it. First and foremost, the producers evened out the physical and mental tasks, giving alpha males much less of an advantage, smoothed out the difficulty curve, and lessened the number of luck tasks
and mid-leg equalizers (though they still stuck one of each into the finale). On top of that they became the first Eastern-hemisphere based version to visit the Americas, had some pitch-perfect casting, an insanely unpredictable finishing order, and one of the most surprising and likable winners in the franchise.
Shane Haw & Andrew Thoday
Cops, and one of the most surprising winners in the entire series. They did not start out well, in part thanks to terrible luck with taxi drivers in various countries, and would have weak finishes throughout the entire first half of the season. They would improve greatly once they hit North America, but still went into the finale as huge underdogs to Paul & Steve and Michelle & Jo. They would pull ahead of the other two teams at the opinion matching task, and pulled of one of the biggest upsets in Race history. One of the most likable winners in the series, and one of the teams who could probably put the money to the best use.
- Born Unlucky: One of the reasons they did so badly early on was because they always got the worst cab drivers.
- Dark Horse Victory: They ran at the back of the pack for most of the Race, really didn't get any airtime until the final 3 legs, and were had a 3-hour deficit going into the final leg, but thanks to a mid-leg equalizing flight and a luck based matching task, they ended up pulling out the victory over two much stronger teams.
- Dumb Muscle: They earned the nickname "stupid cops" from the other teams for a reason, and the other teams thought they could distract them from the horse racing task simply by talking to them until they forgot to turn in their bets. Subverted near the end when it turned out they were not so dumb after all.
- The Good Guys Always Win: With Andrew beating out Genius Bruiser Paul in the final memory challenge.
- Good Is Not Dumb
- I Was Beaten By A Girl: They refused to be beaten by Grace in the bull riding task, which actually worked out well for them. Because they put up the greatest total time of any team riding the bull, they received a 30-minute head start on the next task, leading to their only leg victory prior to the finale.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Michelle & Jo.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Once they hit Cuba they started finishing at the top of the standings.
- Loophole Abuse: During Leg 8, the teams were required to either find a man in a fishing boat or catch a fish, subject to a time limit. There was no rule that stated the fishing could only be done if you hadn't found the boat, so Shane decides to go fishing and ends up being the only person to complete the roadblock by catching the fish instead of asking random boats.
- Out of Focus: Up until the final three legs.
- Trash Talk: Paul & Steve and Shane & Andrew spent their bus ride in leg 10 trash talking each other.
- Underdogs Never Lose
Paul Montgomery & Steven "Steve" Scale
Workmates and alpha males from Victoria, they came into the season behind many egotistical proclamations from Paul, and his ego and abrasiveness ended up annoying the other teams, and making him the clear villain of the season. While early on it looked like Paul's heady opinion of himself was way overestimated, they turned it on in Istanbul with the Arabic symbol memory Roadblock and ended up winning five straight legs. In the finale, they would fall behind on the opinion matching task, and Paul choking on the Final Exam Finale
quiz would prevent them from catching up to Shane & Andrew, finishing 2nd.
- Asian and Nerdy: Subverted. While Paul was brilliant, and he used to be a huge nerd, the nerd part no longer applied.
- Death by Irony: After dominating all the mental challenges throughout the season, Paul lost the chance to catch up to Shane & Andrew in the finale when he struggled at the five question Final Exam Finale, even falling behind Michelle, who arrived after Shane & Andrew had already left.
- Failed a Spot Check: At the Ice Sculpture task in Canada they failed to notice that the clue had already been taken from the sculpture they were at, and spent ages trying to break through and get at the flag. Michelle & Jo, who they had arrived at the same time as and were doing the challenge just meters away from them, finished the task before they figured it out.
- Foil: To Michelle & Jo.
- Formerly Fat: Paul was apparently fat and got bullied a lot in high school, which explains a lot about his physique and attitude.
- Genius Bruiser: Though he looked like a complete muscle head, Paul was also the best at all the mental challenges... until the final leg.
- Genre Savvy: When going to an art studio for the Fast Forward, Paul suggests that they might be getting tattoos, which was one of the more famous Fast Forwards from the US version. It made sense, because the Australian version is infamous for recreating tasks from the US and Asian versions, and the only Fast Forward in Season 1 was the head shaving Fast Forward used on both the Asian and US versions.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Paul has one, and it is mentioned by the other teams.
- Insufferable Genius: Paul will not stop talking about how awesome he is.
- Jerkass: Paul, overwhelmingly so, and it pissed off the other teams. Late in the season when he realized how much the other teams hated him, he was never able to make the connection between his behavior and their opinion of him. When Jo went off on him during the opinion matching task during the finale, he confronted her about it, and it showed how completely unaware he was of how he came off to other people.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Paul & Steve Yielded Michelle & Jo because they were in second place, only for the next task to be an Intersection
- Loners Are Freaks: Part of the reason the other teams didn't like them was because they were the only team that didn't socialize much.
- Mr. Fanservice: Paul for Lucy & Emilia.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: At the beginning of leg 10, they called Shane & Andrew their biggest competition despite Shane & Andrew having run an underwhelming race up until the past few legs. On every other leg they called cheerleaders Michelle & Jo, had spent most of the Race in the top 3, their biggest rivals. This was most likely due to Shane & Andrew getting their first real airtime after nine legs in the background.
- Naked People Are Funny: The Nude modeling Fast Forward was played this way, most probably because it was two men completing it.
- Nice Hat: Steve wore a Cobra Commander hat. Talk about self stylized Foreshadowing
- No Sell: Every racer who had to endure the Chinese foot massage task in US 14, Australia 2, and Israel 2 screamed through the entire process, crying about how much it hurt. That is except for Paul, who sat there with his arms crossed, refusing to show any discomfort at all.
- Satellite Character: Steve got hidden behind Paul's behavior a lot, both with the other teams and in editing.
- Scenery Censor: The nude modeling Fast Forward used this abundantly. At one point they were censored by a pair of conveniently placed pineapples.
- Serious Business: The Race was this for Paul.
- Small Name, Big Ego: For the first four legs, then their skills started showing through.
- Smug Snake: Paul.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Paul, naturally.
- This Is A Race: Paul's mantra.
- Trash Talk: Paul & Steve and Shane & Andrew spent their bus ride in leg 10 trash talking each other.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Lucy & Emilia helped them get through the Detour on leg 2 and instead of thanking them, Paul insults claiming that move was stupid
Michelle Troy & Joanne "Jo" Troy
Twins and cheerleaders for the St. George Illawarra Dragons from Sydney, Australia. They quickly asserted themselves as one of the season's biggest threats, and while the other early favorites found themselves falling off to stupid mistakes one by one, the twins became a fixture in the Top 3, all the while remaining the one of the most competitive, plucky and energetic teams of the season. While they would spend most of the season playing second fiddle
to first Sticky & Sam, then Paul & Steve, they would become the first female team in any version to put up their season's best finishing average. In the finale they would get a lead of over an hour on the other two teams, only to have it disappear when all three teams made the same mid-leg flight. Michelle would struggle to match Jo's answers on the opinion matching task, dropping them to 3rd.
Joseph Caristo & Grace Caristo
Brother/sister team from Sydney, Australia, Grace seemed to have her own, entitled, view of the world, forcing Joseph to deal with her princess personality on top of the normal stresses of the race. Grace had no problems letting her opinions of the other teams be known, particularly to their faces, and became a rather abrasive opponent (though in a very entertaining way for the viewer). The would make the mistake of jumping into a van-style cab in Beijing, the increased costs of such a vehicle costing them all their money and putting them out of the Race in 4th place.
Lucy Pelosi & Emilia Pelosi
Italian sisters and teachers from Sydney, New South Wales, they had originally been slated for the first season, but their mother falling ill caused them to drop out. They got their chance in the second season, and it almost came to a halt immediately, as they struggled with the raft task in the first leg and came in last. Fortunately, they were saved by Ross & Tarryn using the Salvage Pass on them. They would continue to bumble their way through the race, finishing second-to-last in the next three legs, and never finishing higher than 5th overall, but they would make up for their lack of racing skill with their optimistic and energetic attitudes, as well as somewhat snarky and playful sense of humour. Unfortunately all the luck and positive thinking in the world would not save them forever. Lucy would struggle with the frozen waterfall Roadblock in Canada, which would put them behind the other teams, and they finished 5th.
- Born Lucky: After being saved by the Salvage Pass in the first leg, they were saved by Adam & Dane's penalty in the second, Sue struggling with the Roadblock in the third, Kym & Donna getting lost in the fourth (which saved them despite getting detained by the police for driving into the grounds of a royal palace in Dubai), James & Sarah and Ross & Tarryn taking four hour penalties in the fifth, and James & Sarah missing the hours of operation equalizer and being broke on top of that in the ninth.
- Disqualification-Induced Victory: They survived the second leg after Adam & Dane got a penalty for selling possessions to pay for cab fare.
- Loophole Abuse: In the premiere, when teams were tasked with building a raft to row themselves to the Pit Stop, Lucy & Emilia were the only ones who realized that the clue did not specify that teams could not ask for help building their rafts.
- Sibling Team
James Kingsbury & Sarah Roza
Dating couple from Melbourne, Victoria, Sarah was nine years older than James. Sarah seemed ill-fit for the race, coming to the Starting Line in hybrid "runner" high heels, a low cut shirt, and a miniskirt. Her unpreparedness and high maintenance personality caused them many problems, and they became the season's fighting couple. However, despite her appearance, Sarah was an extremely competitive racer, and most of her fights with James were about their conflicting perspectives on how they should run the race. They were finally put out of their misery in Vancouver when they got a late start due to Sarah spending over an hour on her hair and makeup, then they had to go back to their hotel because they forgot to pay for their room. This put them far behind the other teams and cost them all their money, and they were never able to catch up, finishing 6th.
Geoff "Sticky" Stick & Sam Hay
Flatmates from Launceston, Tasmania, Sticky was born without a left forearm. They would quickly become a force to be reckoned with, as they managed a large number of strong finishes within the first half of the season. However, their momentum would eventually die when they missed a flight out of France, and only the combination of Joseph & Grace's penalty and the leg being a double-leg would save them. However, they were eliminated on the next leg when they had navigation issues in Cuba, getting lost while looking for the crocodile farm, and wound up 7th.
Tarryn Lee Thornton & Ross Thornton
Father/daughter team from Melbourne, Victoria, Ross was a former Australian rules footballer who played for Fitzroy during the '80s. They ended up winning the first leg, but instead of receiving the Express Pass, they go the brand new Salvage Pass. Instead of using it to get an hour lead in the next leg (which would have gotten them to the airport equalizer an hour earlier), they used it to save Lucy & Emilia from elimination. Much like other father-daughter teams on the race, Ross was very protective and overbearing towards his daughter, but it didn't stop them from managing a strong start to the race. However, their race prematurely came to an end in Turkey, as Ross would end up choking on the Arabic Symbols Roadblock and chose to quit the task, taking the four-hour penalty. Though they were saved by a non-elimination leg, their race was ultimately over, as the combination of no equalizer in the next leg and an Intersection guaranteed their 8th place finish.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: Four hour penalties and the lack of an equalizer put them and James & Sarah far behind the other teams. They still might have been able to open up a 30-minute lead to make up for them being Marked for Elimination, but a late leg equalizer chained them to James & Sarah until it was too late for them to get much of a lead, as all that remained after the Intersection was a relatively simple Roadblock that had one team member spinning in place for three minutes.
- Shocking Elimination
Donna Verney & Kym Bouckaert
An engaged rockabilly couple from Brisbane, Queensland, and somewhat an Expy
team of Dave & Kelly from the original season, much was expected of them after they managed strong finishes in the first three legs. However, like Dave & Kelly before them, they fell victim to No Sense of Direction
in Dubai after not buying a map and getting hopelessly lost, after which Kym completely gave up. They were subsequently eliminated in the field by Grant in 9th place.
- Expy: Of Dave & Kelly. While every team fit a mold that followed the previous season's casting, this choice was the most obvious.
- No Sense of Direction
- Non-Gameplay Elimination: They got lost in Dubai, after which Kym gave up (citing that health and his relationship with his fiancee were more important), so they slept in the car until Grant came over to eliminate them.
- Shocking Elimination
Sue Bumback & Teresa Italiano
Hippie Hairdressers from Geraldton, Western Australia, the two "Earth Mothers" intended to win the race with their calm persona's and their "Aura Spray", which they used in stressful situations. While they started out fairly strong, with two Top 4 finishes in the first two legs, they ultimately hit a wall at the stair counting Roadblock in India and were edged out by Lucy & Emilia, finishing the race in 10th place.
- Granola Girls
- Hidden Depths: They hit the raft building task in last place, a type of task that usually puts female teams at a disadvantage, but Teresa easily built a raft, jumping them up to 4th place, and passing all four male teams, two of whom (Paul & Steve, Adam & Dane) were the first two teams to arrive.
- Shocking Elimination
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Sue had an Australian flag bandana.
Adam Corowa & Dane Corowa
Cousins from Tweed Heads, New South Wales, and the first Aboriginal team to be cast on the race. While they initially started out strong, the pair made several mistakes over the first two legs that put them at the back of the pack, including burning through all their money, and selling their possessions in India incurred a 30-minute penalty that saw them eliminated in 11th place.
- Born Unlucky: In-Universe. In the finale, all three teams selected them as the "Unluckiest Team" in the opinion matching task for getting eliminated due to selling their possessions. Though it's up for debate how unlucky a team is for breaking a firmly established race rule. (Sticky & Sam found themselves in the same position in the next leg, but managed to get money by begging, and were not penalized.)
- Shocking Elimination: While their elimination seemed obvious, it was a shock for anyone expecting this season to allow young athletic males to breeze through to the final legs again.
- Token Minority