Earlier this summer, it was rumored that Taiwanese American Maria Ho and her teammate Tiffany Michelle were going to be contestants on this season of The Amazing Race when a fan spotted her at LAX. This past Sunday, the rumor was confirmed as the premiere episode of the show aired. As professional poker players, Maria and Tiffany wanted to try to hide their true identities as successful professional poker players, so Maria and Tiffany told others that they worked as counselors for a non-profit counseling troubled youths. Well, that rouse didn’t last too long when the two asked someone in line for help at the airport in Tokyo, and that person recognized their true identities and another team overheard who they really were. I had my doubts from the very beginning that the two were going to be able to keep up the cover for the entire competition.
The first and second destinations happened to be in Asia – Japan and Vietnam. In Tokyo, contestants had to get to a television station where they participated in a made up Japanese game show in a made up game called “sushi roulette,” where contestants had to wait to eat a wasabi bomb roll within two minutes to get the next clue. The bomb had a TON of wasabi and I can’t even imagine eating all that wasabi mixed in with all that rice. After getting the clue, the teams had to lead a pack of twenty Japanese tourists through Shibuya crossing and to a shrine near the crossing. Having been to Tokyo four times, I always love seeing familiar places whenever I watch The Amazing Race and always wonder if I would have an edge if I were ever on the show and in cities or locations I’ve previously been in.
In Tokyo, Maria and Tiffany came in last at the first check-in point at the shrine, especially since they lost a few of the Japanese tourists. They were not eliminated at the check-in, but had to incur a two hour delayed start in the next race of the leg and also had to do an extra roadblock task before getting back to the rest of the tasks and competition.
In Vietnam, the teams had to get to a bus and take a two hour bus ride to the Mekong Delta region. From there, they had to take a water taxi to a fruit farm and fill the base of the tree with mud. That task looked not only dirty, but extremely tiring. From there, they needed to get back to where they took the boats, and then get to a field where one teammate had to guide a flock of ducks through a course using big sticks with orange colored flags at the end.
Maria and Tiffany seemed somewhat dysfunctional working together and perhaps started off a bit arrogant thinking that that could play mind tricks with the other teams, but I think by the time they made it to Vietnam and were able to settle down and complete in a very easy roadblock task, in my opinion: making a pho soup dish, finish the other tasks and were able survive elimination.
Last season, I was definitely rooting for the Asian American brother & sister team of Victor and Tammy Jih from the very start; I really liked their sibling dynamic, and hey, I think Tammy is totally hot. I’m not sure which team I am rooting for, but Maria definitely could come across as a disgrasian…