02 September 2010

The Amazing Race Asia 4 (TARA4)

Hari ini bermula TARA4 yang mana episod permulaan adalah untuk memperkenalkan kesemua pasukan yang menyertai perlumbaan ekstrem pada musim ini.

Dihoskan oleh Allan Wu, Rancangan ini mula mendapat tempat di hati penonton untuk terus tunggu dan memberikan sokongan pada setiap tahun.

Dengan kemenangan yang dicapai oleh pasukan Malaysia pada musim pertama, Singapura pada musim kedua dan Hong Kong pada musim ketiga. Kini TARA4 kembali mencari juara pada musim ke-4 dan kali ini bertemakan "THE RIDE OF THE LIFETIME BEGIN" menampilkan 10 pasukan bagi beberapa negara di Asia.

Berikut adalah senarai pasukan yang akan memulakan pengembaraan bermula 23 September 2010. Siapakah juara untuk musim ke-4? Sama-sama kita saksikan The Amazing Race Asia Season 4.


Sunaina Gulia, 31, Actress | Dimple Inamdar, 32, Actress
Travel Buddies, India

Indian television viewers would definitely find the two sassy lasses familiar. Dimple has been a TV actress for over 10 years, landing plump roles in soaps such as Aathvan Vachan while Sunaina is most currently known for her role as Dr. Anjali in popular medical drama Dill Mill Gaye.

In fact, the all-girl team first met each other on the set of Khabi Naan Kabhi Naa eight years ago but have been chummy for the better part of three. Having forged a deep friendship the kind that only soul sisters have, the actresses declare that they have no secrets from each other. What’s more, joining The Amazing Race Asia (TARA) has always been on the ‘to-do’ list for both of them!

The well-travelled pair of best friends has conquered more than twenty destinations between them and has no qualms when it comes to adventure sports, be it sky diving in Greece or surfing in Brazil. They also have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to preparing for the race. They’ve picked up mixed martial arts, jogging and yoga and feed regularly on a diet of previous TARA episodes. They think they’ve got what it takes to kick some a** in the race!

Sahil Banga, 25, Aspiring Actor | Manas Katyal, 23, Reality Show Bachelor
Cousins, India

One can hardly doubt that these first cousins are as close as brothers, having grown up together and now, bunk as roomies who hang out all the time. Their strong bond extends to a shared taste for fashion and each other’s clothes (they turned up in each other’s clothes for their audition video). They even dated the same girl! Yet, they can appear as different as night and day, for Sahil is quiet by nature while Manas is an exuberant chatterbox.

Older cousin Sahil is an aspiring actor while the chatty Manas is no stranger to reality shows, having emerged first runner up in a 2009 reality series Rakhi Ka Swayamwar, India’s answer to The Bachelorette.

Not having travelled much out of India, joining The Amazing Race Asia is their ticket to exploring the world beyond. Will they conquer, or be conquered?

Natasha Sutadisastra, 24, Legal Admin | Hussein Baron S., 53, Educator
Father and Daughter, Indonesia

Even before the race has begun, Natasha and Hussein have already broken a new TARA record, by being the first father-daughter team in the show’s history!

Natasha is without doubt, the quintessential daddy’s girl. The affection between the two is palpable, for Hussein practically beams with pride when he talks about his daughter, who was recently crowned Miss South Jakarta 2007.

Having resided in the US, China and Canada for a number of years and toured much of Asia, Africa and Europe, Hussein is as seasoned a traveller as they come. Despite her youth, Natasha is catching up fast with her dad in clocking global adventures. As avid fans of the show, the globe-trotters have been hard at work, poring over every detail of all three seasons of TARA, as well as the US version, while building up their fitness at the same time.

They have always treasured spending quality time with each other; in fact, Natasha introduced him to Facebook and even clubs with Dad! For Hussein, the race is one of the very last opportunities for them to hang out together, before Natasha gets married. Aww.

Nadine Zamira Sjarief, 26, Beauty Queen | Hilyani Hidranto (Yani), 28, TV Presenter
Best Friends, Indonesia

For Nadine, joining The Amazing Race Asia (TARA) was the fulfilment of a promise to her best friend Yani made three years ago. Laughs Yani, “After TARA Season 1 aired, I’ve asked so many people to be my partner. Everyone pretty much rejected the offer, until I met Nadine!”

The two besties met at a cover search for Femina Magazine and hit it off instantaneously. Yani walked away as the cover girl while Nadine won the title of Miss Fabulous Personality. That is not their only claim to fame, for Yani has been in show business since 2004, starting with her stint as an MTV VJ; whereas Nadine juggles her crown as Miss Indonesia Earth 2009, as well as her day job as a Social and Environmental Values Executive. A fitting designation indeed, for someone whose pet peeves have to do with others neglecting to turn off taps and switch off energy-consuming appliances.

For two friends who have never had a dispute and can even read each other’s minds, TARA will truly be the real test of their friendship. And their secret arsenal? Cute outfits, waterproof makeup and a dose of determination! This is definitely one team who is serious about looking good on the race.

Ivan Evetovics, 33, University Lecturer | Tengku Hilda, 38, Researcher
Husband and Wife, Malaysia

At 1.5m, Hilda’s petite stature belies her fiery personality and her royal ancestry. Towering over her at 1.8m, her Hungarian partner Ivan has lived in Malaysia for 15 years and considers himself no more European than he is Asian. The couple met as college sweethearts and have been married for 14 years.

In fact, their ten-year-old daughter was their main motivator in joining the race. “She wants us to win the race for her and her cause to save the Earth,” laughs Hilda.

This is one formidable team the rest have to look out for – the couple is well versed in the art of Judo, Parkour (free running), as well as Brazilian Jiujitsu, derived from the Japanese martial art of self defense against a bigger, stronger opponent. Hilda is particularly gleeful that she has beaten Ivan at Judo, the very sport he coaches. Their strategy for the race is to stay calm throughout and run a “thinking” race.

Lim Kok Hon (Ethan), 26, Social Worker | Mohd Khairie, 25, Graduate
Friends, Malaysia

The funny duo is as mismatched in appearance as they are in personality, but they reconcile their differences over food, photography and bad jokes. They describe themselves as KL chicken chop connoisseurs who rate the dish according to taste and value. “We like making fun of people but we don’t like being made fun of. Our jokes are quite distasteful and only we find it funny. Plus, we are social misfits, and very petty,” quips Ethan.

The real reason the duo wants to race in TARA is that Khairie is in the middle of a quarter life crisis. The good thing is that it spurred him to get off the couch and seize the chance to live an adventure. Dragged along for the ride is his buddy, Ethan, who once broke a tuk tuk driver’s guitar in Cambodia and left him to deal with the angry man.

Still, both are bent on winning the best they know how. As part of preparations for the race, they have been taking on… (hear it right) roller coasters! An interesting point to note is that this team finds it hard to get along with each other unless they have a common enemy that unites them. What with nine other teams for them to bond over, who needs a pep talk?man.

Jacinta James (Jess), 27, Tattooist | Lani Pillinger, 27, Model
Party Girls, The Philippines

Jess and Lani have been literally inseparable since they met more than ten years ago. Since then, the party girls have had more than their fair share of drunk escapades, among which involved sea urchins, Ronald Mcdonalds and spanking bike riders in the early morning.

Born and raised in Australia, both girls have made the Philippines their new home. Their resume is remarkably extensive, with Jess clocking experience as a strip club manager, PR hostess and tattooist and Lani as a film producer. The photogenic lasses have also dabbled in modelling and had cameos in music videos, advertisements and TV shows.

Social engagements aside, they love their adrenaline sports, from jet skiing to sky jumping. The latter was particularly tough for Lani, who took three hours to get over her fear of heights before she finally jumped. Look out guys, for this is one team who would not hesitate to use their feminine wiles to get their way in the race.

Richard Hardin, 34, Pro Basketballer | Richard Herrera, 31, Actor
Friends, The Philippines

One will be hard pressed to find two guys with a stronger competitive streak. Armed with the same first name, Richard Herrera and Richard Hardin like to call themselves ‘The Riches’.

They hated each other’s guts when they first made each other’s acquaintance, while playing for opposing teams in an American Football League. It wasn’t till two years ago that they finally hit it off and ever since then, they have never ceased trying to outdo each other from ball games to dance offs. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Their friends compare them to a pro-wrestling tag team and Herrera sees joining The Amazing Race Asia as a way to prove themselves. “I’m a born winner and my partner Rich (Hardin) is a born second-placer. Thought it would be nice to take his sorry ass to the top at least once and give him that first taste of victory he’s been longing for.” There they go again, and spoken like a true WWE member.

Claire Goh, 21, Musician | Michelle S. Ng, 22, Actress
Rebel Pals, Singapore

Michelle and Claire only realised the application deadline for The Amazing Race Asia had not yet ended, one day before it closed. That didn’t stop them from applying for TARA, even though it has been six years since they last owned a pair of track shoes.

The self-professed *ah beng (Claire) and *ah lian (Michelle) have been close friends for five years now and have had many adventures together from scooping ice cream in high heels and taking part in bikini contests, to grabbing their passports and driving to Johor Bahru on a whim.

Michelle is a freelance actress who has appeared on local TV dramas and advertisements while Claire is one half of an acoustic band. Ironically, till today, seasoned performer Claire has a morbid fear of performing solo.

Being the youngest team ever, youth is the one true advantage Michelle and Claire have over the other teams, but will it be their undoing too?

Alan Luk, 32, Actor | Wendy Lee, 24, Actress
Dating Couple, Hong Kong

Having grown up in New York, Wendy has always been a huge fan of both The Amazing Race Asia (TARA) and the US series, so when applications opened up for Season 4, she did not hesitate. In fact, her plans to return to NYC were put on hold because of TARA!

Despite her sweet demeanour, Wendy has a fiercely independent streak. At age 20, she quit school and moved to Hong Kong all by herself, to pursue her dream as an actress. Her gutsy efforts have paid off for she came out top 10 in the Miss Hong Kong 2006 pageant and has since appeared in several local TV dramas. Fellow racer Alan has also been an actor since 2001 and the two met while they were working on a TV drama. They have been together for a year but their relationship has been volatile at times. “One fight was especially memorable in particular because the Police came and tried to resolve it,” recalls Wendy.

So why did Alan agree to join the race? “Life is short, so why not,” he grins. Looks like this will be one spontaneous team who lives for the moment!


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