SULTANMUZAFFAR (26 Februari 2002 - sekarang)

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Entri oleh sultanmuzaffar 05 February 2004

TV3 Explorace 01-03, Airdate: 04 Feb 2004 by Nick

ExploracePreviously on Explorace, team Hana and Syari faced off against the team of Ayu and Zoro in race that started at the grounds surrounding Kuantan Mosque, Pahang. Route 1 took half of the two teams hunting for the green clue envelope in a dark, wet and slippery cave of the Sleeping Buddha Cave Temple at Gua Charas while the other half of the team had to complete a 10 km canoe race to Tasik Chini Resort in Route 2. The next clue brought Route 1 team to Club Med, Cherating where they had to snorkel in murky waters to locate the golden key while Route 2 team had to drive a trishaw to a batik factory where they tried their hand at batik painting. As the team of Hana and Syari thundered ahead of the competition, team Ayu and Zoro faced the physical challenges with some difficulties which cause them to lose valuable time. By the time that the teammates reunited for the team task that the salted fish processing factory, team Hana and Syari had a considerable lead over the other team and managed to keep that 40 minutes lead to the final task which involved them digging up jigsaw puzzle pieces buried in the beach and completing a puzzle. In the end, team Hana and Syari complete their race first and qualify to be in the second round of competition with grace and good humor which earned them the nickname of “Team Spunky”.

Before starting this week’s episode transcript, I have to put down my two cents worth about the show’s opening theme song. I’ve listened to it for the past 3 episodes and really tried to find some rhyme or reason for this ghastly show signature tune. I have to say that I think that the jangling electronica bleating of a song that they use in the beginning of each Explorace episode has to be the worst show credits theme that TV3 has ever produced in its history. It seriously sounds like a bunch of monkeys sat down in front of a keyboard and pounded out this monstrosity that not even a tone deaf person could love. I sincerely hope that the marketing folks TV3 would change the theme song for future seasons as clearly the current one they have for this show does not help in terms of establishing a favorable impression of the show. They really need a theme song that people can instantly associate with Explorace when they hear it as part of the branding strategy for the series and not something that the audience would instinctually try to tune out like the one they have now. I just had to put this down and get it off my chest before moving on to the race action this week.

For the 3rd episode, Explorace pits the bothers team of Ahsan and Ayas against the uncle and nephew team of Choon Heng and Phillip in a race that started out at the Sultan Ibrahim Building grounds at Johor Bahru, Johor. The race destination on Explorace this week is a personal favorite of mine because my family is originally from the area and I personally know some of the places that they have to go to for their clues. As usual for this race the teams were split up into two teams pursuing different routes in their race to get to the finishing line first. In Route 1, CH and Ahsan had to look for an imam of the Masjid India at Harmony Street in Johor Bahru for their trivia question while in Route 2, Ayas and Phillip had to cycle to a recreational park in the city of Johor Bahru called Hutan Bandar and find a local there who would have the envelope with their questions. Both teams were flagged off at 7:20 from the starting point to race to their first checkpoint.

Ahsan was the first person to reach the location of the imam of Masjid India at Harmony Street for his trivia question which he had to answer within 30 seconds. As with other contestant on previous episodes, the trivia question proved too obscure for him and he had to complete the penalty task for failing to answer the question. The penalty task for Route 1 this week involves the contestants going on a clue envelope hunt from one place of worship to another on Harmony Street where several places of worship for all the major religions in Malaysia are built almost a stone throws away from each other. I am not sure if this is intentional but in all three episodes of the show, the first task of the race involved a place of worship in it somewhere which is a bit unimaginative of the producers of the show considering places like Johor Bahru have much more to offer. Regardless, the clue that Ahsan was given at the mosque directed him to find his yellow clue envelope at the Johor Ancient Chinese Temple at Jalan Trus. He was closely followed by CH 3 minutes later at 7:33am who failed to answer his trivia question as well and had to look for his red clue envelope at the same destination.

While the temple hunt was going on, Route 2 participants were cycling across town to the Hutan Bandar Recreational Park to find the person who would give them their trivial questions. For most of the race, Phillip seems to be right behind Ayas and they even managed to share a friendly moment together while cycling to their first checkpoint. It was Ayas however who arrived first at 7:43 and found the person who would give him his trivia question. After failing to answer his question, Ayas had to complete his penalty task which involved looking for the next clue in a tower at the nearby Orchid Garden. He went to the first tower that he could see and immediately wasted some of the lead that he had looking for the clue at the wrong place. I would think that him having to jump over the locked gate of the tower he first went to would have tipped him that he was at the wrong place. Phillip also seemed to have done the same thing when he had to complete his penalty task after arriving at 7:54. With the help of some kind park visitors, the two contestants learnt of the other tower near the Orchid Gardens where they were suppose to go to. The clue that they found there directed them to search the Orchid Gardens for the scientific name for the orchid plant specified in their clue.

When we return to Route 1 participants, we found that Ahsan was again the first person to reach the Chinese temple and got his yellow clue envelope which directed him to go to the Raja Mariamanan Indian Temple for the next clue envelope. He was closely followed by CH who arrived three minutes later at 7:37 who was directed for his next clue envelope at the same location. The two arrived that the Indian Temple three minutes apart and got instructions to proceed to the Sikh temple at Jalan Trus for their final clue envelope. Ahsan was still leading when he arrived at the Sikh temple for the final clue which tells the contestants to board a bus from the Johor Bahru Post Office Bus Station to the Kota Tinggi Waterfall Resort after they finish a breakfast provided to them. CH arrived a few minutes later and had to complete the same meal before being allowed to proceed to the next destination. I didn’t exactly catch what was served to them but I did recognize a serving of chapatti on their plates so I will assume that they were served typical Sikh dishes. I’m not sure if they tried to rush through the meal or something but we found out that both contestants ran into trouble finishing their breakfast. CH must have tried to eat too fast that he seemed like he was choking at one point and had to throw up what he had already eaten into a nearby dustbin. Later we would learn in a confession that Ahsan ran into the same problem and also threw up what he ate. I would be surprised if this didn’t offend anyone at the Sikh temple and that the shows producers had to do something to apologize to the temple caretakers for this unfortunate incident.

After finding the scientific name for their designated orchid plant and returning to the park staff who had the clue to their next stop, the two contestant in Route 2 were directed to go to the Johor Bahru Post Office Bus Station to board a local bus to Pekan Nenas, Pontian and find the Mardi Pineapple Research Center to complete the next task. Ayas was briefly reunited with his teammate who also had to get on a local bus to go to Kota Tinggi Waterfall Resort at the same bus station after the synchronized puking incident. Team Ahsan and Ayas arrived first at the bus station and left for their respective destinations ahead of CH who was still trying to finish his meal and Phillip who was trailing not too far from Ayas. Up to this point, the race was still close with both teams separated from each other by a matter of a few minutes.

For their next task, Route 1 contestants were required to get a marked taxi at the Kota Tinggi Bus Station to drive them to the Kota Tinggi Waterfall Resort where they were suppose to find a local staff there who would have their next clue. Ahsan maintained his lead to arrive at the resort at 10:25 before CH arrived ten minutes later. We see the same problem that the contestants faced in the 1st episode with the vague clues provided when the two contestants had to work hard to find the correct person who had their clue. Ahsan wasted much of his lead when CH found the correct person first to get the clue that directed them to complete an obstacle course and climb up to a waterfall known as Air Terjun Dua to find their golden key in a pool of cold water at the bottom of the waterfall. We did not get to see the full obstacle course race but they were points during the race that seemed to suggest that CH was leading but it looked like Ahsan was the first to finish the course and begin the trek up to the waterfall. Both contestants seemed exhausted after the obstacle race as both could be seen walking up the steps to the waterfall slowly. After a short search for their next clue and the golden key with rescue personnel standing closely by in case they accidentally run into any problems in the water, both contestants were directed to proceed to the TC Arapaima and Tropical Fish Sdn. Bhd. Mini Zoo at Senai and wait for their partner before beginning their next team task.

In the meantime, Ayas arrived at the Pekan Nenas Mardi Research Center at 10:20 closely followed by Phillip five minutes later. They both had to find a particular person who was waiting for them in the middle of a pineapple orchard for their next task. After an infuriating search for the correct person, Ayas arrived at the second checkpoint and was directed to don protective gear for the next challenge which involved picking 20 pineapples from the orchard. Phillip was still walking trying to find the correction but when he found out that the other contestant had already passed by to the correct location he broken into a run. In the first example of the use of reality show editing conventions we’ve seen on Explorace, credit must be given to the editors who edited this sequence as they abruptly switched the soundtrack that was playing up to that point to something more urgent to accompany the scene with Phillip running to the next checkpoint. At the next challenge checkpoint, Phillip was able to take a very slight lead over Ayas by finishing his harvest of 20 pineapples first and was directed to search for the biggest pineapple for their next clue and golden box. Phillip correctly deduced from the clue that the biggest pineapple referred to the huge pineapple replica that was located at the research center entrance while Ayas was still looking for it in the pineapple orchard. As Phillip tried in vain to keep the slight lead that he had by getting a ride to the entrance, it was Ayas who arrived first after getting a ride on a motorcycle and found the next clue that instructed them to meet their teammate at TC Arapaima and Tropical Fish Sdn. Bhd. Mini Zoo at Senai. After a short search for the concealed panel on the pineapple replica, Phillip was also on his way there with clue and golden box safely in hand.

Both teams were in a taxi race now to reach Senai to begin the next stage of the race. In his taxi, CH was reminded that the speed limit that the taxis were allowed to drive at was 60 km/hr and that the driver could only drive up to that speed. This particular segment will have more importance later in the episode. In another taxi, Ayas called his brother to ask if “Uncle” was behind him. I found this to be a bit hilarious as this was the first time that we find out that the contestants were referring to CH as Uncle and this gives me the license to call Team CH and Phillip as Team Uncle from this point onwards. Team Uncle managed to snatch the lead from Team Ahsan and Ayas when they arrived first at the TC Arapaima and Tropical Fish mini zoo at 12:03 where they had to find 4 Explorace tags from 4 animal enclosures. The first was in the Arapaima, a really huge fish, pond, the second was in the possession of Bobo the Sun Bear and the third was in the middle of the crocodile enclosure. Both teams were neck to neck when they came to the fourth and final tag where they both had to finish a raw ostrich egg before being allowed to open the golden box with their golden key to get the clue for the next stage. I was astounded by the actual amount of egg that the contestant had to go through as it seemed that an ostrich egg could nearly fill up a normal-sized water jug. I have to say that the final sequence of that task was a bit disgusting as they sloppily gulped down the raw ostrich eggs which they promptly got most of it on themselves.

At this point of the race, Ahsan ran off from the checkpoint thinking that the finish line was close by and that the race had finished. In the meantime, Team Uncle managed to open the golden box to get their clue which instructed them to proceed to the X-tra Hyper Market to a local Volkswagen enthusiast fair aptly called BugFest for their final challenge. After realizing his mistake thanks to Ayas’s loud shouting, Ahsan rushed back to his brother and it was at this point that the infamous nose dive that they have been using on the promos for the show took place. It was a really bad spill that could have been easily avoided if Ahsan heeded better judgment against running over park benches in his hurry to get to his brother. It was a good thing that the medical personnel was on hand to treat the resulting nose bleed but by this point I found the brother’s recklessness a bit disturbing and knew that something would go wrong soon for them. Once the brothers collected their wits and figured out how to get into the car that they were provided with, they were also on their way to the BugFest where their team task was to wash their assigned Volkswagen Beetle car, reinflate its tires and drive it to the finishing line at Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru.

Team Uncle arrived first at the BugFest at 13:04 followed closely by Team Ahsan and Ayas two minutes later. When they arrived, Team Ahsan and Ayas received a reprimand from the race marshals for reckless driving as they made their way to the BugFest. They were clearly warned that reckless driving was valid grounds for them to be disqualified from the race if they did it again. After the sound warning, they proceeded to their final task of making their assigned antique Volkswagen Beetle roadworthy to the satisfaction of the race marshal before being allowed to drive to the finish line. Just before they left for the final race, we saw the race official briefing the contestants on how to properly handle a Volkswagen on the road and further reminded them to drive safely. In a very close race, both teams enlisted the help of locals to get to the Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru first. However it was team Ahsan and Ayas who reach the finish line first at 14:20 but not before them barreling nose first into the other antique Volkswagen cars parked at the finish line.

They replayed the scene again in slow motion as the audience now got to see how it happened and the stunned reaction of the people around. Even Daphne Iking, the host for Explorace, seemed stunned by the incident which quickly prompted the race marshals to confer as to how this would impact the team’s standing in the race. We were not really shown the extant of the damage but it was clear that people were angry that their priced antiques got damaged through reckless driving. Team Ahsan and Ayas were reminded again that they were warned before that they would be disqualified for reckless driving and endangerment if they did it again and not their fate was in the hands of the presiding race marshals not that they had this accident. In a riveting sequence, audiences were show the gravity of the incident but it was quickly turned into a farce when the race marshals decided to award the win to Team Ahsan and Ayas on the condition that they pay for the damages that they have caused to the car owners. This turnabout on the part of the race marshals ruined the race ending for me considering the buildup that the show editors had put in leading to this incident. It would be a happier and more satisfying twist at the end if Team Uncle had won this race because the other team was disqualified for dangerous driving.

In a closely contested and sometimes fairly riveting race this week, we have the exciting action marred by the debatable finish. Teams that purposely endangered themselves and the production crew traveling with them should clearly be reprimanded if not outright disqualified from the race. I would think that TV3 could ill afford to have an accident on their hands thanks to bad judgment on part of the future contestants. I seriously believe that the decision of not disqualifying Team DoubleA (Ahsan and Ayas) for reckless endangerment sends out the wrong message especially when we want to see fewer road accidents and safer roads in Malaysia. Although the editing markedly improved for this episode and the tasks fairly interesting, the ending of the race this week left a bad taste in my mouth. I sincerely believed that Team Uncle was more deserving to move on to the next round instead of Team DoubleA who the show producers declared as the winner even after they clearly violated race regulations.

Next week Explorace goes to the historic city of Malacca with 2 more teams competing to get through to the next round.

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