The Amazing Race 21 premier (9/30)

I think I might root for Natalie & Nadiya. They’re not going to win, but I think that they’re bickering and eventual meltdown will still be good.

My partner is waving the flag for the gay farmers, but… the word “fabulous” on the back of their matching team shirts makes it a no-go for me.

I have to ask, is it just me, or do any other dopers rewatch an old episode if you’re going to the same place? Last night we watched the season 15 episode where they went to Tallinn, Estonia since we’re heading there in 2 weeks.

Cannot stand the twins. Super irritating in every scene.

The gay farmers seem a little too gay-cliche for me. “Oh no, we can’t do the sports!”

Not much opinion of the other teams so far. Hoping the hot chicks last a little while longer*, but other than that, all the other teams seem reasonably easy to root for.

*(I mean the several hot chicks on various teams, not the blonde team specifically.)

It’s pretty hard to make much of this first episode: only a few tasks, and only a few chances for things to go awry. Still, it’s time for the second installment of the:

Taxi Assessment:

Stuck in the Desert and Officially Detained - or, Philiminated with extreme prejudice.
Rob & Sheila (Alaskan lumberjack and fiance) (down from “Stopping”) - Although I thought Rob & Sheila were a weak team, I didn’t necessarily think they’d be first out of the Race. Then again, there were no obvious cannon fodder teams, and Rob & Sheila were weak enough to not quite make the cut.

Flat Tire - or, not likely to get anywhere soon.
Stopping for Gas - or, not broken-down, exactly, but not a good sign.
Caitlin & Brittany (Blonde friends) (holding steady) - We didn’t see much from this team, and they did notch up a solid third-place finish. However, I’m still skeptical about their long-term chances, so for right now I’m leaving them here.
Jaymes & James (Chippendale guys) (down from “Passing”) - I don’t know if their inability to find the woman with the abacus was a temporary brainfart or an indication of severe lack of cognitive abilities, but it took so long for them to actually find the woman that they dropped from competing with the other teams on the first flight all the way to being 15 seconds from elimination. Most of the other teams found their contact by asking the locals, a strategy that seems to have escaped Jaymes & James. So they wound up running around for something like an hour or two. I don’t think that bodes well for their long-term chances.
Rob & Kelley (Bearded monster trucker and cowgirl) (down from “Passing”) - Ahhhh… I’m pleased with the utility of my wheeled carryon bag in the airport, but in the streets, particularly with heavy foot traffic, you just can’t maneuver like you can with a backpack. Is this team planning on wheeling their belongings all over? That, plus getting lost outside the stadium, plus forgetting to actually read the clue, makes this team look like their headed for an early exit.

"Rapido! Por Favor?" - or, making meaningless ineffectual comments from the back seat, but in no immediate danger.
Natalie & Nadiya (Sri Lankan sisters) (holding steady) - First impression: screechy. I’m not sure how it helps to “encourage” your teammate by yelling at her, but maybe it’s a special twin thing that’s much more meaningful coming from someone you shared a womb with.
Gary & Will (Balding and short) (holding steady) - This team seemed to be lagging at the beginning, which carried over into missing the first flight and staying in the back of the pack for the rest of the leg. However, being big fans of the show should help, as we saw a few seasons ago when Dan & Jordan actually won the race after staying relatively low-key the entire season. Plus this team had U of M shirts on, which wins points from me.
Amy & Daniel (Amputee and boyfriend) (holding steady) - A second place, but poor decision-making in telling Abbie & Ryan where to find the abacus woman, and Amy’s running speed could be a potential Achilles’ heel for this team.
Trey & Lexi (Dating students) (holding steady) - Another team that hasn’t made much of an impression on me so far. I continue to hope that they’ll be a sweet couple, but we’ll find out.
Abbie & Ryan (Dating divorcee couple) (up from “Flat Tire”) - Abbie & Ryan garner a first place finish, but I think it’s a little too soon to say that they’re an upper echelon team. They could be, and certainly didn’t make some of the obvious mistakes that hurt other teams. Still, I wonder about their reaction to the stresses of the Race.

In the Passing Lane - or, ahead of the pack, but not quite comfortably.
James & Abba (Long-haired rockers) (holding steady) - Although Mark is listed their official CBS bio as “Mark,” the producers have, confusingly, opted to call him “Abba” in the on-screen captioning. I guess it wasn’t annoying enough that James shares a name with James and Jaymes, we hade to have an Abba and an Abbie. I’m disappointed in this team’s placement in the standings, but I tend to think their troubles are a onetime thing, unlike the similar, but more severe, performance from James & Jaymes.
Josh & Brent (Gay farmers) (holding steady) - Josh and Brent finished in the bottom half of the teams, but really only because they missed the first flight. Not an auspicious beginning, to be sure, but not a huge failing on their part. They did finish ahead of the other three teams on their flight (as well as poor, lost James & Jaymes), so I’m maintaining their ranking here for now.

Cruisin’ with Earl - or, drivin’ on the shoulder, takin’ shortcuts, and generally kickin’ butt.
No one yet.

Though she did have a red umbrella with a bright yellow base. Nice of them to use the race colors so you’d be attracted to her from a distance, even though no one noticed it. The abacus was red & yellow too.

Stupid of Amy and Daniel to tell Abbie & Ryan where the abacus woman was, but I’m now rooting against them for saying “That’s the kind of people we are.” Sharing your limited food with other hungry people - makes you a good person. Assisting your competitors in what is, in the long run, a meaningless game with no downside for the losers - just stupid. Please just admit you screwed up, instead of claiming some nobility or moral superiority for helping them.

Yup, I’m usually pretty terrible at guessing how teams will do pre-race and this year is no exception. But it’s all about the twins now, I want to see them go far.

Also, how dumb are the Chippendales guys? And how gay are the goat farmers? The stereotype fairy hit this season hard.

The real question you should be asking is “How gay are the Chippendales guys?” Going off of reputation, I’d say very.

Did anybody catch one of the girls mention that she was going to have to eat “frog intestines”?

I’m concerned that she doesn’t understand what Fallopian tubes are…or intestines for that matter.

You know, I think ignorance may have been bliss there. Chartiably speaking I might off hand refer to its intestines, innards, or OMG WTF!

Personally, I loved that it was served in a papaya, because that is what would make it all yummy.

Has Chippendales struck some sort of agreement with TAR? I don’t recall a lot of logos in previous seasons and the guys have Chippendales patches on their backpacks and shirts. Seems odd.

I wondered about the logo, too. I remember obvious logos being blurred out in previous seasons.

Remember the two brothers from Jersey, one (or maybe both) with bad knees who owned a pizza shop? They wore t-shirts with their logo that was always blurred out.
They were eliminated while one was digging in a sand pit for a clue, and the other one was sitting in a chair because his knees were so sore, and Phil came to the sand pit to eliminate them because they were so far behind.

I think in this case, that this becomes a “distinction without a difference”. It’s all frog guts – the part you throw out while preparing frog for dinner.

Does anyone know a good legal source for old episodes? I can’t find anything on the CBS website. Is there a pay-per-view option anywhere?

Also, let the record reflect I’m rooting for the old rocker guys, and my SO is rooting for the Chippendales guys.

Yeah, seconded. There are a few places I’ve been to after TAR was there, and I’d like to see how the snippets seen on TAR jibe with my personal recollections.

One of my favorite lines last night:

“Papaya is my favorite fruit… Was.”

There are a few places I’ve been before TAR. It’s fun to watch TV and say “been there”.

I think I may have been in Berlin after TAR was shot there, but before it was broadcast.

I know they have older seasons on Netflix; discs only, not streaming. I’m not sure which seasons are available, though.

Family Edition actually came right around here in Lancaster County and we did a mini-tour after that season aired. I actually have a photo of me beside one of the water wheels they built.

CBS.com has Sunday’s episode streaming now. ETA: Oops… old episodes…

I don’t agree with this at all. They’re both major college athletes, they ran a flawless leg, they seem like they get along well, and they showed no hesitation at eating the nasty food. They’re at the very top of my list and a favorite to win it all based upon what we know about them. It’s possible that they can’t drive a standard transmission or navigate, but we don’t know that. It seems like the only reason for their low ranking is that they are blonde and good looking.

All-woman teams have won two of the last four seasons, and others have finished in the top three. The Miss USA contestants and the NFL Cheerleaders both finished second. I think that the producers have removed the brute-force type challenges after the poker pros (who did OK considering their complete lack of physicality) got eliminated due to a task that they just were not physically capable of completing.

For the first task of rappelling off a bridge, we saw baldie express a fear of heights. You’d think that they’d have forseen this and maybe prepared a bit more, for being such big fans of the show. I predict that, when they inevitably have to drive themselves somewhere, he won’t have learned to drive stick.

That one twin who kept screeching at her sister during the ping pong task was supremely annoying. I’m glad she earned instant karma by having to eat the frog Fallopian tubes.