Surviving the first hurdle
> The three Malaysian teams in The Amazing Race Asia 5 are all hyped up to win with one team having taken leg one of the race
with. People only get to see the challenges, but not the stress.”
The duo arrived at their Roadblock challenge soon after the Singaporean team of J.K. (Justin Ko) and Mike (Michael Tan), leading J.K. to utter that the Singaporeans had to beat the Malaysians.
“[We eventually] overtook the Singaporeans [because] we had a system,” said Alpheus . “[They] had one strong guy (Mike) doing all the lifting. In our case, we worked as a team.”
Brandon added: “The best thing about us is that we are roughly the same size, and roughly the same strength.”
Ultimately, Brandon and Alphaeus were the first team to hit the mat at the pit stop, and won for themselves a pair of air tickets to Bali, courtesy of Garuda Indonesia. were so keen to take part in TARA, having been fans of the US and Asian editions of the series for years, that they started training in the gym six times a week.
Alex said: “We would wake up early to go for a run. We just prepared for the worst-case scenario in any physical challenge.”
Will added: “Knowing the race, we knew there was a lot of running and a lot of obstacles.”
Black tank tops, pants and shoes topped their shopping list in preparation for the race.
“We branded ourselves as the ‘muscle brothers’ and we like showing off,” said Alex.
They did find a rival in the muscle department in the form of married couple Eric and Rona Tai from the Philippines.
“They were body shaming us a lot,” laughs Alex, who added that they are all now good friends.
Will said they had aimed to finish in the top three in the first leg of the race.
But their decision to take Fix (decorating a bike) during the Roadblock part of the race instead of Freight (moving sand) landed them in fifth place.
“We knew we wouldn’t be in last place, because when we looked around, there were other teams still [racing],” said Will.
As for personality clashes, Will said: “Alex will make impulsive decisions, while I will take my time. That is how it has been since we were kids.”
Alex added that their differences somehow helped to balance things out during the race.
These two beauty queens and best friends are facing off against another pair of beauty queens from the Philippines, Parul Shah and Maggie Wilson-Consunji.
When asked if there was an urge to take down their ‘royal rivals’ first, Yvonne laughed and admitted: “That was the first natural reaction.”
Chloe added: “We are in it to win it! In the beginning, [everyone was] sizing [each other] up. Just because we are beauty queens, no one was taking us seriously. So we were not wary about others, which was also good.”
Both trained to keep fit physically. “Our strategy was to remain calm and cool, and read the clues carefully,” said Yvonne.
However, they both admitted that staying cool and calm was not always easy. The girls were almost eliminated in the first leg, coming in ninth before the last team, siblings Rei and Keiji Umehara of Singapore.
As for forming alliances with other teams, Chole said: “Alliances can only bring you so far, but it in the end, it is every person for him/ herself.”
Running to win ... (from left) the Malaysian pairs of Alphaeus and Brandon, Yeevon and Chloe, and Will and Alex.