PETALING JAYA: Malaysian team Tee Joe Jer and Zabrina Fernandez did the country proud when they emerged champions of the first Amazing Race Asia.
The two are also the first ever all-girl team to win an Amazing Race competition.
Team spirit: Zabrina (right) and Tee reading a clue for the race. They beat nine other teams from Asia to winthe US$100,000 (RM365,000) cash prize.
In yesterday’s series finale, aired over Astro’s AXN channel, the best friends/colleagues beat Hong Kong team, expatriates Francesca von Etzdorf, 27, and Sandy Sydney, 29; and Andrew Tan, 26, and Syeon Park, 28, (Tan is Malaysian while Park Korean-Australian) to win the US$100,000 (RM365,000) cash prize.
Tee, 29, and Zabrina, 26, proved their mettle as they arrived first at the final pit stop at the Bako National Park in Sarawak, warmly welcomed by host Allan Wu and other teams which were eliminated from the race.
Zabrina, in a telephone interview last night, described the race as “amazing”, adding that she and Tee only thought they had a real chance of winning when they got off the boat to the final pit stop.
“It was only when we were on the beach that we thought it could be us!”.
In the final, the gutsy women held hands and prayed as their boat approached the final pit stop.
The final leg of the race came a full circle back to Malaysia where viewers saw the race kicked off in November last year. “Joe Jer and Zabrina” had been in full gear from the very beginning – one of their tasks was in Dubai (their pit stop last week) where they had to piece together a jigsaw of the Visit Malaysia 2007 logo.
The inaugural Amazing Race Asia saw 10 teams from Asia racing through 15 cities, covering 36,000km to vie for the prize money. The Amazing Race Asia is a regional production that was adapted from the original US format of The Amazing Race and tailor-made for the Asian market.
Zabrina, who caught the final episode with her parents at a club in Kuala Lumpur said she was touched by the support she and Tee received.
“We started out taking part in the race for ourselves and families. Then, we realised we were also racing for our country and that felt great.
“I cried a little on the mat when we won but I think I cried more now (last night). It has been almost a year from the time we first signed up and watching it all again was quite an emotional experience,” Zabrina said.