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:
- In the first leg, they got stuck on the last charter bus to Daraga, despite leaving the balut task in 6th place, because their cab driver got lost.
- In the second leg, their driver started taking them to the wrong location, after which they tied to switch tuktuks without paying, which only cost them more time as the driver chased them down and demanded money. Despite leaving the luck-based turban task in 3rd place, they ended up arriving at the Detour in last place.
- In the third leg, their driver got lost looking for the Red Elephant Temple at the beginning of the leg, though this did not cost them any places.
- 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 the rafting task in leg 1, they were the only male team to realize their greater weight would pose an issue on the hand built rafts, but since there was nothing in the clue about how they had to paddle their rafts, Andrew suggested they lie on the stomach to better distribute their weight, which allowed them to breeze past Adam & Dane.
- 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.
- Nice Guy: Both of them hands down. They even bought a whole bag of little souvenir kangaroo toys to give out to kids they encountered along the way.
- 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
Paul: I am the alpha male. I see the alpha male as someone that is dominant, is powerful, strong. I can embrace that title.
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.
- Competition Freak: Paul had an issue with even Steve showing him up on tasks, as he admitted during the balut task in leg 1, when he forced himself to match Steve's pace at eating.
- 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.
- Drives Like Crazy: Paul, during the driver's license Roadblock in India, stalled out his car multiple times, and was so stiff and nervous that he had his instructor repeatedly telling him to relax.
- Establishing Character Moment: Their introduction was the last of the eleven teams, and pretty much told the audience they were going to be the villains of the season. From Steve's Cobra Command hat, to Paul's speech about how anyone in his way could step aside or get stepped on, everything they said screamed villain.
- 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, like getting the stairs Roadblock right on his first try... 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.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the premiere, Paul said that he thought Kym & Donna's relationship was Dominatrix and slave after watching her make him eat all eight balut.note
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Paul has one, and it is mentioned by the other teams.
- I Was Beaten by a Girl: Paul's initial motivation for wanting to beat the twins is because he refused to get beaten by "two blonde bimbos," which happened a lot early on.
- 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:
- Averted in the first leg, as Paul immediately identified Michelle & Jo as a dangerous team when they landed in Manila, as the ladies were the first team to break out of the cab line and get a cab. this upset Paul, as he wanted to be the only forward thinker in the game, and the girls were turning out to be smarter than they looked.
- Played straight 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 Command 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.
- Rage Quit: Paul wanted to quit the rafting task and take the penalty in leg 1 after their raft fell apart for the second time. Only Steve refusing to listen to him kept them going at the task, eventually recovering for a 10th place finish.
- Rock-Paper-Scissors: How they decided who would do the stairs Roadblock in leg 3.
- 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. In the first leg, Paul came dangerously close to quitting the rafting task.
- Smug Snake: Paul.
- The Social Expert: Paul saw Steve as this, and planned on using Steve's social skills as a shield to hide his more cutthroat nature.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Paul, naturally.
- Tempting Fate: In their intro, Paul said that he had not practiced an Elimination Statement, because they were going to win.
- This came up again in the restaurant detour in China. Steve spent a good chunk of the task hoping that the wheel would land on the ox testicles for Paul. Guess what Steve gets on his final spin.
- This Is A Race: Paul said this when they ditched Shane & Andrew in leg 2, when the two teams were in last and looking for the Detour, and again when they used thei tuktuk to block in Kym & Donna at the stairs Roadblock in leg 3.
- Trash Talk: Paul & Steve and Shane & Andrew spent their bus ride in leg 10 trash talking each other.
- Ungrateful Bastard: When Emilia gave them advice on the Poo Detour in leg 2, instead of thanking her, or even just calling it a bad move, Paul spent a lengthy confessional talking about how stupid she was for doing it.
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.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Lucy had a headband with the letter "L" on it.
- Chewing the Scenery: Discussed by Emilia when she started crying at the Bollywood task, as she said that was the kind of things they liked in Bollywood pictures.
- Disqualification-Induced Victory: They survived the second leg after Adam & Dane got a penalty for selling possessions to pay for cab fare.
- Epic Fail: They wound up driving into the grounds of the Royal Palace in Dubai. Luckily they were let off with a warning.
- Failing a Taxi: They had troubles finding a vehicle to take them to the Pit Stop in leg 2, which is why, though they left the Bollywood task in 7th, they were the last team to arrive at the mat.
- Leitmotif: Many of their scenes would cut the more dramatic music that normally accompanied the other teams to play the show's more light bumbling/humor theme.
- Loophole Abuse: In the premiere, when teams were tasked with building a raft to row themselves to the Pit Stop, they were the only ones who realized that the clue did not specify that teams could not ask for help building their rafts, and therefore were able to get a man watching them to help build their raft.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: During the Poo Detour, when they figured out the trick to getting their poo bricks to stick to the wall, Emilia immediately told Paul & Steve, who then passed them, despite arriving at the Detour long after them. They would have been eliminated that leg if not for Adam & Dane's penalty for selling their possessions.
- Plucky Comic Relief: They were never portrayed seriously as a team, with most of their airtime spent showing them either bumbling at whatever task they were supposed to be doing, or talking about men.
- Reality Show Genre Blindness: See No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.
- When they saw Paul & Steve return from their second failed attempt at the rafting task in leg 1, Emilia said that nothing was over until the fat lady sang, and she hadn't sung in the last five minutes.
- They said finishing 10th in the second leg was a huge achievement, and like finishing 1st for most teams.
- Sibling Team
- Tempting Fate: On their way to the first task in Manila, Emilia said that she didn't think it would be an eating task, judging by the time of night, after which Lucy told her worried looking sister that it might be one anyway. The show then cut to Michelle & Jo arriving to find the task involved eating balut.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Emilia's reaction when she saw the balut they had to eat.
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.
- Call It Karma: When they got to the bus station before James & Sarah in leg 1, allowing them to get the last spot on the second charter bus, they said it was karma for how James & Sarah refused to give them money for a cab to the bus station.
- Decoy Protagonist
- Distracted by the Sexy: Couldn't help but take notice of Michelle & Jo washing each other during the Turkish bath task.
- Drives Like Crazy: Sticky, during the driver's license Roadblock in India, frightened the judge administering the test, as he had no left hand to shift gears (using his forearm instead). He got into a car accident and was still passed on the test (as it was the other guy's fault).
- Failed a Spot Check: They blew all their money on the first taxi ride of the race when they misread the meter and offered the cab driver everything they had before he asked for any money, which caused them money problems over the nest two legs.
- Felony Misdemeanor: They condemned James & Sarah for agreeing to work together in leg 1, then ditching them. However, the couple just didn't want to give them $20 for a cab, as the boys had foolishly spent all of their money on the leg's first cab ride.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Many of their confessionals in the first few legs were focused on how Sticky could do anything that someone with two arms could do, espeically during their two leg wins in the second and third episodes.
- No Sense of Direction: Leaving the Starting Line in a tie for 2nd with Michelle & Jo, they decided to go in the opposite direction of the two women who were from Sydney, resulting in them getting lost on the way to the Sydney airport, and they ended up falling to the middle of the pack. This did not effect them, as every team got on the same flight.
- Only Known by Their Nickname
- Out of Focus: For their last four legs.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: For the first four legs.
- Strangely Arousing: What Sam said about the transvestites in India hitting on him while their tuktuk was stopped.
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.
- Down to the Last Play: They won the first leg after overtaking Kym & Donna in the rafting task, just before both teams reached the beach.
- Second Place Is for Losers: Said by Ross in their intro and at the beginning of the third leg.
- 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.
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.
Teresa Italiano & Sue Bumback
Hippie Hairdressers, they are one of the few teams in franchise history to share a boss/employee relationship. The two "Earth Mothers" intended to win the race with their calm personas and their "Aura Spray", which they used in stressful situations. They started out fairly strong, with two top 4 finishes in the first two legs, which saw them starting the third leg in 3rd place, with a 30 minute lead over several of the other teams. Despite the leg not having an equalizer, Sue hit a wall at the stair counting Roadblock, allowing all the trailing teams to catch up and pass them, and they finished the race in 10th place.
- Broken Tears: Teresa, when she saw what balut were, as it went against her very nature to eat them.
- Chekhov's Hobby: They jumped into 1st place during the Pull Detour in leg 2 due to Sue's experience with milking cows, and knowing to both rub the cow on the head and warm her hands up before attempting to milk.
- Granola Girls: In particular, shown with Teresa's "aura cleansing spray."
- Hidden Depths: In leg 1, they arrived at the raft building task in last place, a type of task that usually puts female teams at a disadvantage, but Sue 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, an hour ahead of them.
- Leitmotif: They had a theme consisting of bongos and a sitar duet.
- Miracle Rally: Sue described their comeback during the rafting task in leg 1 as, "pulling off some kind of miracle."
- Security Blanket: Their aura cleansing spray, which they would use to calm themselves or give them confidence on a task.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Sue had an Australian flag bandana.
Adam Corowa & Dane Corowa
Cousins, the first Aboriginal team to be cast on the show. 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, such as struggling so badly with the rafting task in the first leg that they dropped from 1st place to 9th in the process. During the second leg, they burned through all their money by the time they reached the Bollywood task, and despite leaving said task in 4th, they found themselves without the funds to get them to the Pit Stop. After failing to secure a ride from Ross & Tarryn, they sold a pair of shoes and a shirt to a local mother and son. Though this initially got them to the Pit Stop in 7th place, they incurred a 30-minute penalty for selling their possessions. All the other teams checked in, and with only three minutes left in their penalty, they were 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.)
- Narcissist: Discussed in their intro, where Adam said Dane couldn't go anywhere without checking himself out in mirrors. Later in the episode, Dane cost them time leaving the Pig Detour as he had to wash all of the mud off of himself, allowing Paul & Steve to get a jump on them.
- Read The Freaking Clue: In the car puzzle to begin the Race, teams were only allowed to drive their car in a straight line. Adam, however, proceeded to immediately turn their car to maneuver around the vehicles in front of them.
- Reality Show Genre Blindness: Selling personal items teams have brought with them from home has never been legal on the show.note Mark & Michael had even received four hours worth of penalties for doing so in The Amazing Race 14.
- Shirtless Scene: Their entire intro played out with them on the beach.