And while we saw the official cementing of ‘The Originals Alliance’, Jake Henderson says it was actually not the first alliance he had been in. In fact, from the beginning of the race, Jake revealed he had a secret agreement with another team.
“Sefa and Jess were the first people we actually got to talk to and me and Sefa are great friends now,” he told 10 play. “During the race we naturally gravitated towards different teams… instead of that becoming a rift between us, we used it as an advantage to make sure neither of our teams were caught off-guard or left out of the loop and to make sure that if there was a U-Turn coming up, we knew about it.
“We knew what every team was thinking, essentially,” he continued. “It was something Sefa and I kept quiet. It was nothing that was going to impact anyone else’s game, it’s not like we were sneaking around, playing them off each other. We were just making sure that no one was going to play us for fools.”
After Sefa and Jess were eliminated, Jake and his sister Skye-Blue still had their core alliance with Jordan and Violeta. A mutual agreement to assist each other throughout the race where they could, the two teams wanted to make it to the final and would do whatever it took to help the others get there.
Unfortunately, Jordan and Violeta’s time in the race ended and once again Jake and Skye were left looking for other options.
It’s no surprise that Jake is a huge fan of Survivor, getting to stay up late and watch episodes with his mum when he was young, he knew how important it was to have alliances throughout the race.
“The core gameplay of both the competition of Survivor and the race are the same. The goal is to get to the end and, in Survivor, alliances are how you get there. I couldn’t see why I couldn’t adapt that approach to help us get to the end of this race as well.”
This week we saw the christening of “the originals alliance” made up of Brendon and Jackson, Anurag and Jaskirat, Ashleigh and Amanda, and Skye-Blue and Jake. The name came from the fact that the four teams all began the race from day one, but it wasn’t the first name.
“It was a play on words we had with a conversation with one of the stowaways and it just stuck,” Jake said.
“We originally were calling ourselves the ‘Ka-ka Ka-ka alliance’ because every time we’d see each other we’d ka-ka like birds,” he added, laughing.
“We couldn’t exactly ka-ka like a bird every time we had an interview so the originals alliance is just the name that unfolded.”
Which explains why teams like Holly and Dolor and Chris and Aleisha — also ‘original’ teams who began the race on day one — weren’t included.
“The originals alliance was always just a friendship, right up until leg 13/14 where things started to heat up and everyone started to need help,” Jake said. “It was a friendship that, almost out of necessity, became an alliance. We wanted to see those four [teams] through to the end.”
Separate from the main alliance, Chris and Aleisha criticised the strategy the teams had this week. Watching Ashleigh and Amanda help Skye-Blue and Jake in one of the roadblocks, Aleisha questioned why four strong teams would band together and help each other to the end, rather than trying to eliminate the biggest threats in the race.
“That’s where Survivor and this differ. You don’t eliminate the threats, the race does,” Jake explained.
“I would rather go through to the final three with people that, if I did end up losing to them, I would still be happy for them instead of taking people that I knew I could 100 percent beat, lose and not be happy about it.
“That’s the approach I took rather than eliminated threats through alliances. The alliances Sky and I made were to ensure we made it to the final with people who shared similar morals, raced the way we did and teams that, if they beat us in the final, I could be happy for them, shake their hands and say you won fair and square.”
With seven teams remaining the originals alliance have the majority, meaning if a U-Turn was to come up, there’s a good chance they’d be able to avoid it, something that Jake said at this point in the race was imperative.
“You go into every leg thinking there’s going to be a U-Turn,” he added.
“That is the way you can essentially end someone’s game without having to lie, cheat, or steal. I think every team was always thinking about U-Turns and who they needed to U-Turn, it was always in the back of everyone’s minds.”
So far in this season we’ve only seen one U-Turn come into play where Shane and Deb made the decision to U-Turn Holly and Dolor. While the power couple were outraged at the time, Deb said their strategy was to select a team they knew was secure enough in the race that the U-Turn wouldn’t lead to their elimination.
“That was a very smart move,” Jake reflected. “It was so early in the race, U-Turning someone that was a big threat would just put a target on your back and the chance of that U-Turn working and them getting eliminated is very slim.
“Putting the spin on it that you’re U-Turning someone near the front so they don’t get eliminated was very well done by Deb and Shane.”
Watch The Amazing Race Australia 7.30 Sunday to Tuesday on 10 and 10 play or catch up on every episode so far on demand on 10 play