The Amazing Race - 4.4.10 (open spoilers)

Random thoughts (for mouseover): Dan/Jordan didn’t bicker; Louie is out of shape; Brent/Caite are still annoying and can leave my TV screen any time now.

Now on to the show:

Good leg from the Cowbros. The early bunching helped, but picking the balancing detour seemed to be key. They were able to complete the detour, speed bump and roadblock without any problems.

Sorry to see Steve/Allie go. I liked them, but it looked like killer fatigue got the better of Allie. She didn’t even try the balancing task. At least they won one leg.

Noticed the finishes this week were exactly opposite last week.

I’m not really qualified to comment, because I only check in with this show occasionally.

But hey, model chick, “the lesbians” probably have names!

And I really wanted the father/daughter to beat the brothers, because I wanted to smack the guy with the backwards hat down to his eyebrows.

Hooray for the Cowboys, but with Steve>Allie out of it that increases my chances of being unhappy with the winner. Hopefully it ends up with Cowboys in first, Mike and Louie in second and any team but Carol and Brandy in a distant third.

Now I missed quite a bit of the episode because the weather guy kept cutting in with tornado warnings. What happened with Steve/Allie and the brothers heading to the detour? I saw them jogging to it (and having Mike and Louie pass them). When it came back on, Dan or Jordan said something like “we’re not giving up now” and then both teams were getting in cabs.

I was pretty much down with the lesbain hate until this week. Now, not so much. Caite’s big complaint seemed to be about a tiara comment early on.

What was she wearing this week? A plastic tiara lookalike head band? Pig ignorance is not cute and Caite lives in ignorace like it’s castle. Time for her to leave.

ETA: I hope Louie is not the first contestant to die in the race.

New rule for TAR: Never get out of your cab to proceed on foot unless you can actually see your destination ahead of you.

Oh, and you should probably not spend a long time trying to find one destination, give up and head to the other destination, only to quickly give up on the task and proceed back to the first destination. Thast just might result in a last place finish.

Good rules, sir!

Yeah me too. I was watching tonight and caught myself thinking “They don’t seem so bad, I wonder why I didn’t like them before?”.

From last place to first, and overcoming a Speed Bump; that’s a great leg.

I missed the first few minutes, so I’ll have to catch the beginning once CBS puts it online. Did the teams learn their lesson about getting good seats on airplanes? It looked like the teams got off the plane in about the same order they would have started the leg.

Is it just a coincidence that the detectives seem to be really good at finding things? Seems like they found the grapes in the vinyard and the technicolor coconut right off the bat.

I think the coconut was pure luck, there didn’t seem to be anything about the outside of the colored coconuts to mark them as different.

Caite blew the coconut task, picking them up one by one and lifting them way above her head and dashing them down with two hands. Coconuts aren’t that hardy that she needed to put that level of effort into it, she’s not that weak. Wasted time, wasted energy. I’d have been very glad to see her and what’s-his-face out just for their ugliness and sloppy, whiny gameplay.

I think now, though, the Cowboys are the ones to beat. The morale they picked up with a first place finish when they had a Speed Bump should be a gamechanger. I think this is the first time a Speed Bumped team has ever come in any higher than last-not-eliminated, isn’t it? I’m seeing them 1, 2, 3 with Carol and Brandy and sadly, Caite and what’s-his-face. I think Louie’s lack of fitness is going to be a real hindrance as we get into the last legs, where the focus seems to shift away from luck to strategy and endurance.

It’s amazing that we’re at final legs already, though. This season has had, what, two instances of transportation bunching? And no opening hours bunching, and no airport drama (a bit of bus station drama) and no real footracing yet either. Big changes to the design of the game.

Oh, I don’t know. There seemed to be some foot racing after two teams dismissed their taxis before their destination was in sight. Imay not have been intended foot racing, but it was there. I agreed with the brothers when one of them lamented that they had the best cab driver in the world and they let him go.

I was looking forward to watching more teams attempt the pole balancing, and I think it might have been the smarter choice. Carrying the incense up to the top of that temple is going to take a long time, even if you can manage three or four per trip rather than two like Carol and Brandy were doing. Getting the knack of balancing the pole may take a bit of time at first, but once you’ve got that, you should be all right. It’s a bigger gamble, but it paid off for the cowboys. If you catch on early enough, it should also be less tiring than carrying the incense which means you’ll have more energy for whatever the next task is.

I’m pretty sure chasing taxis on foot made things even harder for the brothers and Steve and Allie. Oh well, at least the latter two don’t need to worry about being sent somewhere cold without their backpacks.

It was cathartic for her. There’d been a tantrum building up inside her for a while. This way, she got it out of her system as part of a Roadblock. Quite lucky, really.

I think the detectives have a better shot at the final three, though. Three teams were together when their cabs got stuck in traffic. Two of them panicked and set off on foot, and that became the race for last place. The detectives kept their cool, made the smart choice, and even passed Brent & Caite. The only mistake I remember from them was not getting good seat reservations on the flight to the Seychelles. That put them in the latter group of three for the helicopters, but they beat the other two and almost caught B & C that time, too. Very smart Racers.

The comboys seem all-or-nothing, but I’m not sure what the deciding factor is. They made a lot of mistakes on the European legs, where they had to drive themselves and the clues were a little bit cryptic. Now, with explicit directions and a local cab driver, they kicked ass again. That bodes well for them.

Amazingly, the Pit Stop placement on this leg was exactly opposite what it was on the last leg: Jet & Cord went from last to first, Steve & Allie went from first to last, and all the teams in-between swapped places. That’s interesting, but also makes it difficult to write the:

Taxi Assessment:

Stuck in the Desert and Officially Detained - or, Philiminated with extreme prejudice.
Dana & Adrian and Jody & Shannon and Monique & Shawne and Joe & Heidi and Jordan & Jeff - Still eliminated.
Steve & Allie (down from “Passing”) - Steve & Allie drew a bad cabbie, which is unfortunate, but they compounded their bad luck by getting out of their cab to run, and by switching Detours to something they couldn’t do. Both of those decisions were spurred by bad cab luck, but it was ultimately those decisions, and not the cabs, that landed Steve & Allie in last place. That’s too bad: this was a strong and likeable team, and I’m sorry to see them go.

Flat Tire - or, not likely to get anywhere soon.
Brent & Caite (holding steady) - Caite was wearing her “tiara” again, which she does to prove to Carol & Brandy that she’s proud of her past and who she is. On the one hand, that’s admirable, coming from someone who’s no doubt had more than her share of snide comments directed her way in the last few years. On the other, and more to the point, obsessing over another team isn’t good Race strategy: the point is to worry about your performance, not over how well another team is doing. Particularly when, save last week, that other team has always finished ahead of you. Brent & Caite have survived longer than their skill and attitude accounts for; from here on out they’ve got to rely on the bad luck of other teams.

Stopping for Gas - or, not broken-down, exactly, but not a good sign.
Dan & Jordan (holding steady) - A good cabbie drove Dan & Jordan to a brief lead, but then their natural inclination to hemmorhage time took over, and Dan & Jordan wind up finishing just ahead of the hapless Steve & Allie. Dan & Jordan are better than Brent & Caite, but that’s a pretty low bar to set, and they’ll need some help to get to the final three.

"Rapido! Por Favor?" - or, making meaningless ineffectual comments from the back seat, but in no immediate danger.
Carol & Brandy (holding steady) - Carol & Brandy made it through this week, and as of now have a pretty decent shot of making it to the final three, what with two of the other four remaining teams clearly weaker than they are. However, there was some pretty heavy foreshadowing this week, with both Brent & Caite and Louie & Michael promising to U-Turn Carol & Brandy if either had the chance. I don’t expect the Amazing Editors put too many empty threats on the screen, and there’s a fair chance that at least one of those two teams will hit the U-Turn before Carol & Brandy. If Carol & Brandy survive the second U-Turn, they’re in the final three.

In the Passing Lane - or, ahead of the pack, but not quite comfortably.
Louie & Michael (holding steady) - Another decent leg by Louie & Michael, punctured only by a spot of traffic trouble and, worryingly, Louie’s hacking and wheezing. I’m convinced this team is a shoo-in for the final three, but they’re never going to win a footrace. And the last leg usually includes a footrace.
Jet & Cord (up from “Stopping”) - The Jet & Cord that took two first-place positions re-emerged this episode. The bunching at the beginning helped them, surely, and some bad cab luck slowed them down, but the brilliant Detour choice catapulted them to the front. They didn’t make any more errors, and cruised to an easy first. If they stay focused like they did in this episode, they should walk away with the million dollars.

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

[sub]Props to Mullinator and his Raj Rating[/sub]

There’s probably a natural tendency for the audience to look for (and the producers to create) heroes and villians on reality shows. There really aren’t any unpleasant people on the Race this season, and o’erweening lesbians are the closest thing we’ve got to villians.

To be honest, though, Carol & Brandy don’t strike me as the kind of people I’d want to hang around with in real life. But then, neither do Brent & Caite.

The cops jumped up in my esteem bigtime by giving some of their extra stuff to Steve while they were waiting for the plane. Despite their brashness and general bull-in-a-china-shop attitudes, they seem like genuinely nice guys.

  1. Who the hell is that asshole (who looks kinda like…whatshisname…Kramer…on Seinfeld) on those fucking 7-Up commercials? The twee asshole who “bubbles” and frolics and crap? I’ve never seen him before but I hate him and as long as he’s on my screen, I’m not drinking it.

  2. Of the two models, she’s dumb and princess-y, but he’s a whiney little bitch. He’s MUCH dumber and more annoying than her.

  3. I would have chosen the wrong task too. The flag thing in retrospect seemed pretty easy (put it on your forehead pointing a bit forward and run forward.

  4. They stole the “smash the coconuts” task from Amazing Race-Asia season 1. They wimped the fuck out of the task for this version-int the Asia version, the shells weren’t pre-split and the coconuts had the husks(?–the hairy stuff on the outside) on…they gave the teams hammers and said “Have fun”. Teams cried and some actually took the 4 hour penalty for bailing (or switched tasks–I forget which) because it was so tough. I don’t like the pussification of TAR. (Largely because the producers still desperately want an all-female team to win.*)

  5. I like the fact that while there are some villains (the lesbians, the models), none of them are totally obnoxious. This season had pretty good casting–I’d like to see a little more diversity in the casting (drop the number of faux-famous people–the Big Brother team, the NFL Coach/Daughter, the quasi-famous models to zero. Add a few more random teams.) but good job overall. If they’d just fix the poorly planned, totally wimped out tasks (remember the “jump of the pier while wearing a dumb costume” task?) and we’d have a solid season.


*At least this season, they didn’t preload the show with nothing but old people, wimps and female teams-they allowed for the “alpha-male” team. If Carol and Brandy win, it’s a legit win.

I don’t know, but with all of her whining about “the Lesbians”, it makes me wonder if the beauty pageant world is full of them and they were all trying to recruit Caite…

The main problem with TAR is that it’s not a true “race around the world” – all the bunching up only ensures a series of mini-races, and leaves the winning open to the luckiest team, which is not necessarily the “best” or the smartest team. Any couple of idiots can fluke their way to the end.

It would make more sense to give the teams some sort of itinerary of things to do/places to go over the four or five days and just let them all at it. At the end of that time (or three shows) they could then bunch up for the next leg of four or five days, and then repeat it once again before they found out where the final destination was. Mind you this would mean no prize every week and less Phil (not that that would be necessarily a bad thing).

Brad Garrett, who played the brother on “Everybody Loves Raymond” and one of the leads on his own sitcom “Til Death”. Famously plays mostly curmudgeonly characters, hence why his being bubbly and twee is supposed to be funny. I’ll admit I get about a centi-ha out of at least the “Misty” commercial. (Who’s reaching out to tickle the horsie? Everyone knows it’s Braa-aad!)

“Misty”? You mean “Windy”…

Whatever. One man’s damp fog is another man’s refreshing zephyr.

Yeah, I was a little nonplussed that he managed to comment on the beautiful temple but didn’t take the backwards cap off there. I did think the “Who needs more color in their life? Uhhh…ME!” was funny.

I love the cowboys. I just do.