SULTANMUZAFFAR (26 Februari 2002 - sekarang)

Seorang blogger, pelayar internet, penyelam scuba dan penagih tegar televisyen dan Wii. Melihat seluruh dunia di laman blog menerusi kamera DSLR dan kacamata tebalnya (kadang-kadang kanta lekap).

Mengkritik tidak bererti menentang, menyetujui tidak semestinya menyokong, menegur tidak bermakna membenci, dan berbeza pendapat adalah kawan berfikir yang baik.
Entri oleh sultanmuzaffar 15 January 2004

TV3 Explorace 01-01, Airdate: 14 Jan 2004 by Nick

ExploraceAs 9:30pm rolled around tonight, I was parked comfortably in front of the TV eagerly anticipating the start of the latest local reality show, “Explorace”. With all the hype that the TV station was putting out for this series, I was actually looking forward to it and I know that a few other people, from my office at least, who were equally eager to see it tonight. I just know that we will be talking about it tomorrow during the breaks.

Anyway ... today’s episode started at the Ipoh Railway Station in Perak pitting two teams, Toh and Kumar versus Sanjeev & Ravin, against each other. The two teams were split up and were given their individual tasks to complete. In Route 1, Kumar and Sanjeev were directed to get on a bus to look for the Perak Tong Cave Temple and seek out the chief priest there for their clue. For most of the time, the two contestants were racing neck to neck. I was mildly surprised to learn that Kumar spoke Cantonese which gave him an edge over Sanjeev in getting directions to the bus station from the locals. Regardless of the advantage, it seemed that they both were evenly matched in that they took the same bus to go to the cave temple.

While Kumar and Sanjeev were completing their individual task, the remaining team members, Toh and Ravin, were directed to Route 2 which sends them out to locate a coffee shop in the provided address in Ipoh city and meet the shop owner to get their clue. Toh looked like he was leading most of the time and found the correct shop quite quickly than Ravin did. I guess that his ability to speak in 3 languages really helped in getting directions from the locals. At the shop, Toh was given a trivia question based on tourist attractions in Perak to answer which upon failing he had to complete a penalty task. The penalty task for Route 2 was for the contestant to find the Ipoh Market, look for a particular shop that sells coffee beans, buy RM 3 of the Ipoh white coffee beans and bring them back to the coffee shop. Ravin also failed to answer his question and had to complete the penalty task as well.

A little side bar about the questions that they asked in the clue destinations. I have to say that they were really hard unless you know a good travel guide book inside and out. I wouldn’t be able to answer the questions like how high a particular mountain was even if my life was depended on it. I guess in a way, the show producers really want to make sure that the contestants had to do the penalty task to make things more interesting. It would be interesting to see if any of the contestants would be able to ever give a correct answer in the weeks to come.

While the Route 2 contestants were searching for the white coffee beans, Route 1 contestants arrived at the Perak Tong Cave Temple and found the chief priest for their individual trivia question which they both failed to answer. Both of them had to complete the penalty task which involved climbing a long flight of stairs to the top of the cave temple and retrieve their clue envelope. Kumar looked like he had a slight lead over Sanjeev throughout the climb although there was some physical blocking on his part to ensure that he kept that lead. It looked like the climb was quite a ways and when they reached the top, their clues told them to go to National Stud Farm to complete a task that will give them their golden box.

When we return back to the Route 2 contestant, it was not surprising that Toh got to the Ipoh market and found the correct stall to purchase the coffee beans first. Being able to speak Cantonese really helped him to get directions from the local unlike Ravin who seemed lost most of the time. After giving the coffee beans to the coffee shop owner, Toh was instructed to sit and have a cup of coffee before being given the clue for the next destination which was a tin-mining dredger just outside of Ipoh where they were instructed to locate their golden key. Ravin turned up sometime later with his coffee beans and was asked to do the same thing. In his hyper coffee influenced confession, he complained that it was hard for him to get the correct directions.

On the trip to the next Route 1 destinations, it was clear that Kumar really had his game on to the extant of refusing to even talk to Sanjeev. While Sanjeev tried gamely to be friendly to Kumar, he was not getting anywhere with his attempt. Once they arrived at the National Stud Farm, a horse breading farm, they were directed to search out a person there who had the next task that they have to complete. It took them a while to find the correct person who directed them to clean up their assigned stables, groom their assigned horse, saddle it, bring the horses out for a bath and return them back to their stables. After watching the two of them complete the task in fast forward, it seems that Kumar still had the slight lead over Sanjeev. Once the horses were returned to their respective stables, the contestants were told to search for their gold box hidden somewhere in the stables. Kumar found his first and it directed them to drive themselves using the car provided to them outside the farm to a rubber plantation near Kellie’s Castle and wait for their partner before proceeding with the next task. Sanjeev ran into trouble again after retrieving his gold box when it took longer to find his assigned car.

The Route 2 contestants arrived at the tin-mining dredger at the same time on the same bus. It seems that Toh missed an earlier bus and effectively wasted the lead that he had over Ravin. They were both neck to neck in the race to find the golden key in a really big tin-mining dredger which looked disused. I didn’t think that their clues really helped them out in terms of telling them the location of the key so the two of them had to search for the key for quite some time. I think that Ravin managed to spot a flag or something from outside the dredger since he was able to find the stairs that lead to the top of the dredger where the keys and clue to the next destination were located. Once he has secured the key, the clue told the contestants to get back into town and seek out a particular shop where bicycles were waiting for them to use to get to the next destination. He was well into his way while Toh was still looking for his key. After finally figuring out the location of the key, he managed to get it and quickly rushed back into town to start on his bicycle journey.

For a while it looked like Kumar was leading in Route 1 but it seems that he went to the wrong rubber plantation as it took him a while to find the person he was suppose to get the next clue from. Sanjeev on the other hand arrived later at the correct location and seem to be able to find the correct person quite easily. His partner, Ravin arrived sometime later after a 3 km bicycle journey and both of them were directed to tap rubber from 10 assigned trees to the rubber tapper’s satisfaction before being allowed to open the golden box with their golden key to get the clue to their final destination. They managed to finish their task well before the other team who were still looking for the correct rubber plantation. Sanjeev and Ravin’s clue told them to go to the nearby Kellie’s Castle to complete their final task.

Toh and Kumar finally found the correct rubber plantation and were just finishing their 10 rubber trees when Sanjeev and Ravin arrived at Kellie’s Castle and began searching for the person who had their final clue. After another frustrating person search, they finally found the correct person who had their final clue which told them to climb to the top of the castle and zip down a flying-fox line to the opposite bank of the nearby river after which they had to wade/swim back to the castle, go to the other tower of the castle to abseiling down to reach the finish line. The remainders of the task were completed without much incident although I must point out the sign warning them about crocodiles in the river they were wading/swimming in. I’m sure that the editors on the “Amazing Race” would put in a shot of crocodiles somewhere here to heighten the drama but that was not picked on by this group of editors.

In a confession, Kumar acknowledged that the first team who started the final task first would be surely the winner of this week’s race and sure enough it is Team Sanjeev and Ravin who crossed the finish line ahead of Team Kumar and Toh. With this win, Team Sanjeev and Ravin advance to the next round where all 6 winning teams will compete against each other to select the best 3 teams who will go into the final round. Both teams agreed that the looking around for the correct person who had their clue was the hardest thing that they had to do in their race compared to the physical activities they had to go through.

Overall it was a good episode to start the series off with. There were moments when both teams were really close together but Team Kumar and Toh managed to waste their lead over the other team by virtue of their own mistakes. The editors of this episode also missed out on a big dramatic moment for the show tonight when they failed to show what happened when Toh missed his bus which basically turned the tables around for them. I also have to say that the clues given were very vague about the person the contestants were supposes to find for their clue. It would be better if the clues were more specific about the location where this person was so we would see the contestants spend less time searching for the guy and more time actually completing their tasks. I’m not sure if we will see the clues getting any better in future episodes but hopefully they will learn this lesson for the next season (if there will be a next season).

Next week, Explorace goes to Kuantan, Pahang.

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sultanmuzaffar - entertainment blogger