Andrew Tan and Syeon Park are a Dating team on The Amazing Race Asia 1.
- Age: 26
- Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Age: 28
- Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This result-oriented boyfriend and girlfriend have already developed strategies for the game. Putting their eighteen-month-old relationship under pressure is one way to see how strong it is, and these two are confident that they have what it takes and have enough in common to make it work.
Andrew and Syeon from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, already have a strategy.
"Every team needs a leader," says Syeon, "And if there are two leaders, then you just wind up arguing."
The solution is that there is only one leader. Andrew is the leader, and in any situation during the race, he will make the final decision (after a short debate, if necessary).
This sort of foresight should make for a very interesting game, particularly since it lays the blame squarely in Andrew's lap if he makes bad decisions.
But this is an interesting couple all around, another example of cross-cultural dynamics at play. While Andrew is a true-blue "Malaysian Sensation" (as he describes himself), his girlfriend Syeon is of a Korean-Australian background.
They two have known each other for three years, having met while snowboarding in Jindabyne, Australia. Friends at first, their correspondence turned into a long distance relationship while she was in London and he was in KL, and they've been together for about eighteen months now.
They describe their relationship as interesting, fun and ... childish. They think it's important that they have many common values and principles, partly because it lends strength to their relationship, but also because they feel that it will help them to be in sync during the Race.
Both Andrew and Syeon are active in sports, a passion that they both share, so an average day might include a trip to the driving range, or to some other sporting activity. Their different upbringings contribute to some degree of friction, but each is learning from the other.
"I'm a very independent, friendly, outgoing person with a Western mentality," says Syeon, a fact that contributed to a certain degree of culture shock when she came to Malaysia to live with Andrew. In return, Andrew points out that he's not as direct or confrontational as Syeon, and their different mindsets certainly make for interesting lives.
However, the two do communicate very well, and it through this communication (combined with a degree of honesty) that they have overcome their problems so far. It remains to be seen whether the bond that they have will survive the experience of The Amazing Race Asia.
Besides sharing values and common principles, both are very result-oriented individuals who achieve many of their goals by prioritizing and making intelligent decisions. Their greatest strength they bring to the game is their belief in one another, and support for one another, but they are a little concerned about the physical challenges.
Andrew's objective assessment is that intellectually and physically they're both "quite okay", but he is aware that some of the physical challenges on The Amazing Race Asia may be more physical than they can comfortably handle, and that Syeon will be slower and not quite as strong.
One of their other strategies for the game was to put their emotions aside, and play the game as a game - and play it to win. No difficulty there, since these two are well-used to sport, having an interest in all sorts of sports between them.
They're naturally competitive, as well, something that they hope to harness for the Race. Asked to describe themselves, Andrew said "we're a level-headed, result-orientated, determined team".
Syeon shouted "Pocket rockets!"
The idea of taking part in The Amazing Race Asia was born from a couple of impulses. One of the big ones was that it would prove to be an opportunity to test their relationship.
"Under the pressure of the race, a relationship can either go in a positive or negative way," says Andrew, carefully hedging his bets. "We don't know which direction our relationship will go in, since we've never been in this situation before, but we're hoping it will go in a positive direction."
The need to push the envelope was another factor.
"Being in The Amazing Race Asia will let us move out of the comfort zone," says Syeon.
In addition, both team-mates agree that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"You can't buy it. The chance to race around the world, with a loved one, facing a unique sort of pressure, is an experience that no one else can give you," says Andrew.
These two certainly seem determined to take advantage of every opportunity they get. Their strategy is to aim for the top three in every leg because "you have to stay in it to win it", try to be focused and determined, and leave personal, emotional things aside.
They're not willing to play dirty to win, or be underhanded, and are hoping that their travel experience will stand them in good stead. They've traveled all over the world, and as Andrew puts it "we don't go for comfortable holidays".
At the end of the day, this very competitive, very sporty couple is hoping to get to the last leg … hoping to do relatively well. Given the emotional and mental resources they've devoted to getting prepared for the competition, it seems like they might actually have a chance.
Ask them what the toughest part of the competition is, and they will tell you that it is the emotional and mental stress. "You can recover from a broken leg," says Syeon, and then leaves the rest unspoken.
The Amazing Race Asia 1
|Andrew & Syeon's Race History|
|Episode||Leg||Destination(s)|| Detour Choice|
|1||1||Malaysia||Paint / Pot||No Roadblock||5 of 10|||
|2||2||Malaysia → Indonesia||Push / Sell||Andrew||8 of 10|
|3||3||Indonesia||Wet / Dry||Syeon||8 of 9|||
|4||4||Indonesia → Australia||Elevation / Crustacean||Syeon||1 of 8|
|5||5||Australia → New Zealand||Rugby / Rigging||Andrew||2 of 8|
|6||6||New Zealand||Ledge / Luge||Andrew||4 of 7|
|7||7||New Zealand → Singapore → Thailand||Bacon / Eggs||Syeon||2 of 6|
|8||8||Thailand||Smash / Grab||Andrew||4 of 6|
|9||9||Thailand → India||Carry / Count||Syeon||2 of 5|||
|10||Deliver / Donkey||Andrew||3 of 5|
|11||10||India → United Arab Emirates||Hack / Hike||Syeon||2 of 4|
|12||11||United Arab Emirates||Ride / Seek||Syeon||1 of 4|
|13||12||United Arab Emirates → Malaysia||Brain / Brawn||Andrew||3 of 3|
- After the race, they got married.
- First team to arrive first on the first leg, but not allowed to check-in.
- S. Indramalar and Rubin Khoo at The Star Online (02/08/2007): "Amazing trivia - Participants share their experiences"
|The Amazing Race Asia 1 Teams|