Monday, November 26, 2012

Amazing Race 21, Episode 9

Because I am a mean, little person, I found that sort of delightful. Nothing against Abby, she seemed competent and resourceful and tough, but Ryan was such a douchebag, it was hard not to be a wee bit thrilled at their elimination. Especially when he kept going on and on about the Chippendales "true colours" and that they "cheated [us] out of two million dollars", when he cheerfully would have U-Turned the Goat Farmers in a heartbeat himself. The U-Turn is a legitimate part of the game; it's not "underhanded" to use it. And, newsflash, everyone wants to win this, not just you.

Allow me to get on my high-horse for just a minute here, and declare that it is a terrible state of affairs when someone has to win a reality show so that someone they love can get the medical care they need.

 Ryan and Abby didn't just have one bad leg; they've been struggling at the back of the pack for three legs now. They left the Pitstop in Moscow a full 23 hours behind Jaymes and James....U-Turn or no, they'd have to have counted on some serious bunching in the next couple of legs to get back in the game.

I'm not a fan of the U-Turn (except, of course, when it is used against a team I don't like.) because it's almost impossible to work your way back from, and I don't like the interpersonal drama it stirs up. I like the Race when people are out because they gambled and lost (like taking a one-hour connection in Frankfurt) or because they made some terrible decisions (like waiting at the pool with the last team to leave).

Wouldn't it have all kinds of awesome if Trey and Lexie had actually gone to Paris?

I am going to find a way to work the phrase "awesome balls!" into as many conversations as possible in the very near future.

Was I the only one shouting at the Twins during the Fast Forward: "shut up and EAT!" ( Somehow, I imagine their mother spent a LOT of time at their dinner table wearily moaning that phrase.)  Man, I thought they were going to run out of time simply because neither of them could not stop telling the other one how to do it .

How much do I love the Chippendales? About as much as I have loved any team ever on this show. I love that blond James (who reminds me more and more of a Golden Retriever) is so nice and happy and enthusiastic, and dark James is solid and competent and a good guy. I loved how appreciative they were about seeing Amsterdam on the boat ride. And I also loved that they pulled out the collars and cuffs for the organ grinding task. I loved that they brought the collars and cuffs. (I can just hear the discussion during packing for this: "....and a calculator, and hair gel, and my contacts, and some duct tape. Oh! And collars and cuffs, for sure!") Did you see that one guy who seemed to be filming them on his little camcorder for the whole thing? Creepy.

I'd have given Lexi a couple of Euros to stop screeching. Man, she has got one grating voice.

That day sure changed, didn't it? I know it probably was actually two days, it was hard to keep track. I wonder if the Twins and the Chippies were checked in before Ryan and Abby and the Goat Farmers even left Moscow? Because the first teams were racing in the summer, and the last teams were racing in the fall.

I felt a real kinship with Abby when she was tearing up hugging that mom-type woman who gave her the rest of the money. I'm okay with fighting through whatever stresses I'm facing, but all I need is ONE person to be especially nice to me and then I'm a puddle of tears.

Tall Goat Farmer has already checked out of this. I don't know if it's Killer Fatigue or just knowing that they are circling the drain or because he misses his goats, but I distinctly get the sense that he'd be very happy if they were Philiminated.
BTW, LOVED that Phil asked if they would have preferred if they be eliminated instead of Abby and Ryan. They'd whined enough at that point that I think even Phil was sick of them.

Next week: Tall Goat Farmer isn't good at something and collapses in a heap of despair. So, in other words, nothing new.

Until next week!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Amazing Race 21, Episode 8

It's always sad to see a team out of the race because of outside causes, but dammit, Long Hairs, you should have kept your stuff with you all the time. You're in Russia, for goodness sake, not Montessori school. I'm not sure quite what they could have done overnight about the passport, and I'm sure the editing had something to do with it, but man, they seemed to just wander aimlessly around Moscow saying "dude, where's my passport?" for freaking ever. I wonder if they just knew the gig was up and were just going through the motions at that point. (Just for the record? My "motions" would have included vodka.)
I really, really wonder what the Speed Bump was. It looked like it involved a priest and a hearse; it could have been awesome, and now we'll never know.

Why no start times at the beginning? I think there was some shenannigans with the last two teams and they wanted to gloss over the fact that maybe they didn't all start exactly 12 hours after check-in. Or they were trying to maintain some shred of suspense because the last team left 19 hours after the first one.

Oh, Ryan's mini-breakdown at the Time Zone challenge was delightful to watch, no? I don't hate that guy, certainly not as much as some other people do, but it was kind of nice to see his Alpha Male self get served a big ol' slice of humble pie. Thing 1 said "who's been pushed off his high horse now?" I thought it was interesting that Abbie figured out where he was going wrong before he did, but assumed that she was wrong about it.
Personally, I would have laid down and cried by, I don't know, Attempt 3....I suck at anything to do with numbers, the pressure to be fast would have cut me off at the knees AND the Killer Fatigue probably would have made me melt like the Wicked Witch of the West. I loved the Twins "Hell, no! Express Pass!" when they found out what the task was. Excellent use of the Express Pass, ladies!
I think I love that professor...."Pencils down!" is so going into the regular rotation around here.

Big props to the Gay Goat Farmers; they rocked this leg. After not even finishing the task the day before, to totally breezing through this leg, they were pretty impressive. I'm so glad someone did the "Historical Figures" task, I was hoping I'd get to see it. (Thing 1 and I would have smoked that task. Just sayin'.) Although, I'm pretty sure Lenin #3 didn't have to warn Josh to stay away from Russian women. That ship has already sailed.

I've not loved the Twins since the money taking incident, but I have to say, they've approached the race with an enthusiasm and good humor that I can appreciate. When the taxi driver wanted to take them to McDonalds, they thought it was hilarious, and when the one ripped her pants dancing, they both fell all over themselves laughing. (I especially liked the one soldier who saluted when Natalie had to go change. Like she was a fallen comrade, or something.)

This has so become the James and Jaymes show for me. I absolutley love those two. I loved the Blonde One saying "si" to the taxi driver, and then immediately commenting on what an idiot he was.
I also love how they said the sign at the Agricultural Academy looked like Beyonce 8:00, like Beyonce was putting on a show at 8:00.

This season is one of the better ones, I think. The teams are certainly more likeable and there's very little inter-team drama. There is a notable lack of camels, donkeys, rabbits or oxen, though. Uncooperative livestock always add to the race, I think.

Until next week!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Amazing Race 21, Episode 7

What??? "To Be Continued"??? What is the meaning of this? Either a team is out this week, meaning the schedule is still correct, or a team is not out this week and they have one too many teams for the episodes they have left. Or they are just messing with my head, which is entirely possible and far too easy to do.

So, if the Longhairs' cab driver has taken off with their stuff, does that mean he left without getting paid? Why would he do that? I know Russia is one crazy country when it comes to money and belongings and "the collective" and shit, but still, you'd think the cabbie would notice he hasnt' been paid yet. I guess Killer Fatigue got to the Longhairs and they left their stuff there because they're just so befuddled. I know when I travel, I keep my passport on me all the time and reassure myself that it's still there like a million times a day even though I look like I have developed a raging case of OCD for the duration.

I read somewhere on the internet this comment,which made me laugh out loud: "If their meltdown is karma-related, I'm thinking an incident involving cocaine and at least one dead groupie factors in. "

Both those Detour options looked like a bitch. I still think the Library task would have been easier, though, given that synchronized swimming is freaking hard. Have you ever tried staying upside-down underwater in a tuck position, all the while smiling like you're trying to break your face? Believe me, it's not for sissies.
I loved that the Chippendales gave it a shot, and I loved them even more that they were good at it. Plus, the little flowered swimming caps and the bow ties sealed the deal for me. (But really, they had me at "speedos".)
Jaymes (I think that's the blonde one) definitely has the best lines: "We looked like Mama, from Mama's Family." (Also, later when they were on the bridge and he shouted out to that random Moscovite girl: "Hey! What club you goin' to? This is Moscow! Club gear at 3 o'clock!")

Mostly, I am supremely grateful that Rob and Kelly were out by this leg, because what if they had done the swimming task? Rob in a speedo! Oh, the humanity!

I'm sorry, but Little Gay Goat Farmer's attempt at diving was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Ever. We must have rewound that and watched it about 20 times. It never got old. It was like watching a Saturday Night Live skit.

It was nice to see Ryan, Mr. "I want more first place finishes than anyone else", get served a big old humility sandwich. One hour's connection time is really, really tight, and also, I figured if you get to your destination at a weird hour like 4 in the morning, there's more than likely an Hours of Operation bunch so no one gets too far ahead of everyone else, so gambling on a tight connection to get you there to hang around with the rest of the teams for a few hours doesn't seem like a good bet.

Maybe if the two last teams arrive on the Amazing Bathmat at exactly the same time, it will be like the Hunger Games and no one has to die.

So, they kind of gave away who's still in it in the "next week" previews. Ryan has a little meltdown during a task, so clearly, he's not doing that in a nice hotel in Acapulco. But I guess it's still up in the air who is out.
And, also, no one said the words "farm" or "Monster Truck" this episode, so I'm happy.

Until next week!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Amazing Race 21, Episode 6

I'm officially off the Twinnie train. I thought their keeping that money was just awful. Especially since the Rockers had plenty of time to figure out something to do, so it wasn't going to make much of an impact on their performance on the next leg, and because forcing people to beg in a country as poor as Bangladesh is really, really low. Particularly when we saw the legless guy in the wheelchair begging as Ryan and Abbie got into their taxi.

I thought the guy on the street ("you are my guest") and the cab driver who was so very proud of his countrymen, were just wonderful.

I did think that the Rockers handled their misfortune incredibly well; no drama, no blame, just figured out a way around it and got on with it. I'm pretty sure that money issue won't be their downfall, just as I'm pretty sure Abba's knees will be.

Also, aren't Trey and Lexie commited Christians? Is there a new part in the Bible I don't know about that says "Benefiting from someone else's crime is a-okay by Me."?

I'm glad Rob is out....his continued crowing about how much smarter they were than everyone else, and such individuals and thought for themselves and did their own thing blah blah blah  when it was clearly the dumbest move ever was getting annoying. You know why you don't see any other teams? Because they're all ahead of you.
Having said that, his exit speech on the mat was much sweeter than I thought it would have been. And Rob was definitely NOT the racer I thought would be dancing during this leg.

Wait, Josh and Brent lost their jobs at some point?? And have a farm? Why did they never speak of this before?
And they saved their whole town?? I hope they did it by putting on a show in a barn, and keeping Old Man Potter from ruining George Bailey's business and then dropping a house on a witch.

I liked this Speed Bump, mostly because the ice cream vendor was messing with them in such a delightful fashion. Can you see Ryan at that? He'd have just grabbed the vendors arm and manhandled that cone out of his hands. The only way that could have gone better is if Josh or Brent was lactose-intolerant and had to eat two ice creams.

I literally laughed out loud when Jaymes said "We have no idea where we are in the placings. Y'all are gonna have to look at the bottom of your screen to see what's happening."
These two are my favorites, and not just because I got to see them shirtless in the bathhouse.

Favorite LIne of the Night: Ryan snarking that the Twins are "so juvinile", and then following it with "They can suck it", like he's 12.

Nice to see Brent and Josh actually DO something when they were stuck in traffic. Mostly, their default reaction to adversity is to whine a bit and then try to figure out how the tall one is to blame.

I so wish the Amazing Race had a reunion episode, like on Survivor, when everyone gets together AFTER having seen the show....the Rocker's reaction after seeing the Twins keep their money would have been interesting.

Next week, James and Abba appear to lose everything. I've seen 7 year olds who are better at keeping track of their stuff.

Until next week!



I'm now disappointed that TAR doesn't have a reunion episode like Survivor. I'd love to see that confrontation