Hello everyone! It’s LoLo here, finally free from the simultaneous joy and pain that was recapping this past season of Big Brother. After deciding that recapping another season of Tyra and ANTM will do bad things to my already dangerously unstable mental health, I am now your new Amazing Race recapper! Our premiere is an extra-special 90 minutes in length, and it’s coming at you faster than a watermelon to the face. More on that later.
Or now. I can’t resist. LOVE IT.
Phil welcomes us to Massachusetts, where 11 teams are traveling by lobster boat to the starting line. The first team we meet are the home shopping network girls, Brook and Claire. They plan on using the manipulative cute (?) girl strategy, and tell us that they can sell ice to an eskimo. That is probably true. If anyone can convince you to buy overpriced shit you don’t need, it’s these two. Just ask my mother.
Dear lord, it’s a pedicure, not a melon to the cranium, CLAIRE
Chad and Stephanie are our next team. They’ve been dating for 8 months and spend their free time doing push ups, buying real estate together, and pretending not to notice how much better looking than him she is. Chad tells us he is going to propose to Stephanie on the race. If I were him, I’d move fast on that too.
Before the moobs get any bigger.
Katie and Rachel are beach volleyball players and our hot girls of the season. They’re both tall, skinny and blonde, so I know I’m going to have a hell of a time telling them apart. I’m just going to have to wait until one of them does something unbelievably stupid, which I doubt will take very long.
“We’re going to lose our passports! HIGH FIVE!”
Next are Connor and Jonathan, a capella singers from Princeton. They met when they both threw away their chances of ever getting laid auditioned for their a capella group, and inform us that they plan on singing throughout the race, to teams to make them like them and to thank cab drivers. Let the betting begin for when someone gets a shiv in the side.
“I got to see a vagina once.”
“I had to give my little sister a bath when she was like three.”
Nat and Kat — despite my initial flash of rage at the rhyming — seem like a pretty awesome team. They’re both surgeons, as well as best friends. And they’re cute. My only question is, how did they both manage to take off the time to do this show, especially if they really do work together as suggested? “Sorry dude in need of an immediate quadruple bypass, guess you’re going to have to wait while Nat and Kat sell burkas in Pakistan!”
Although judging from this display of medical expertise, maybe that dude is better off.
Michael and Kevin are father and son, and supposedly YouTube celebrities, although I’ve never heard of them. I’m too busy watching a panda sneeze over and over. I guess Kevin posts humorous videos about the cultural differences between him and his father. Anyone got any intel? Although I’m not sure I’d be willing to admit it, if I were you. Michael sure seems super exciting, so don’t take your eyes off that one.
It’s the Amazing Race, not the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Lighten up!
Nick and Vicky are the “freaks” for this cycle, and are on the defensive immediately about their look and how everyone’s going to judge them. They seem like they’ve got chips on their shoulders, and once they claim that someone they offend with their asshole behavior is just “intimidated” or “judgmental” about their look, they are dead to me. You are not nearly as cool as you think you are.
“I left my left arm bare so I can remember which one I prefer to wipe with.”
“Wiping? What’s that?”
Next are Ron and Tony, the middle-aged team of best friends. They immediately remind me of the obnoxious brothers from last year, as the skinny one tells us that he’s doing the race because it’s Gay Shaq’s dream. Ugh. Teams where only 1 person is really into it piss me off because there are so many teams of 2 that BOTH want to do this show. Whatever, they are sure to be eliminated early.
Especially if there’s a roadblock involving water.
Jill and Thomas are our other couple, and are definitely in the running to be this year’s Bickersons as they tell us that Thomas is always right and Jill is going to try to challenge him as much as she can while she can get away with it without a punch to the face.
“Shit, I hope there are doornobs around that I can pretend to run in to, just in case.”
The daddy-daughter team is Gary and Mallory. Mallory is the current Miss Kentucky, and determined not to be stereotyped as either a pageant girl or a hick. Good luck with that.
“Does this make me look smart? What about fat?”
“I hope we have to share a bed.”
The final team is Andie and Jenna. They’re a mother-daughter team with a twist, as Andie was a young skank who got knocked up and gave up Jenna for adoption and they’ve only recently reunited. Oh, this is a brilliant idea. Who wouldn’t recommend going into a highly stressful, demanding situation with the birth mom you just met? You know Jenna’s adoptive mom can’t wait for the shit to go down.
“I love you, honey.”
“Go to hell.”
“Aww, that’s how I always imagined you’d say that!” <wipes tear>
With the team introductions finally out of the way, Phil gathers everyone up and explains the rules, including something new called the Express Pass. Basically, the team that comes in first during this leg will receive an Express Pass, that allows them to skip a challenge entirely at some point of their choosing during the race. Clearly this is a big advantage, but I don’t really understand the point in introducing it other than for the show to have an innovation to point to. Whatever. Phil then tells them that two flights await, but only 3 of the 11 teams will gets seats on the first plane. It only arrives 30 minutes earlier than the second plane, but an advantage is an advantage.
And they’re off! The first clue reveals that their destination is London, and then out to Stonehenge. The teams frantically pile in their cars, and Team HSN takes the first lead of the race, complete with enough squealing and shrieking that it threatens to crack 90 layers of foundation they’ve each slathered on their face. The other teams are right behind, and Thomas tells us that he went to Notre Dame and knows his education will help him. At the risk of setting off all sorts of shit in the comments — so what? It’s not THAT impressive, and we’ve already got Princeton represented by Team Gleek, plus Team Hot Docs can boast about med school. The only way that the ND degree is going to help is if the racers ever need to out-douche each other. That is, assuming there’s not a Duke grad in the bunch. Jill, for her part, went to cosmetology school and wants to prove that someone without a college degree can win The Amazing Race. You’re in for an uphill battle when your own boyfriend doesn’t even believe that.
Team Adoption is even more fucked up than I originally thought, as it turns out these two idiots have only met each other twice before showing up for this. Other than visiting a nudist camp together, I can’t think of a more uncomfortable way to bond. Team Gleek, meanwhile, is lost and needs to pull over for directions, which they manage to get without singing their thanks and getting their asses beat. At the airport, Team Token Black Guys arrives first, thanks to Gay Shaq not having to run yet, with Chad and Stephanie close behind. Chad keeps sinking further in my estimation as he eagerly smells a handkerchief that Stephanie tells him stinks, and then reacts like he’s mentally disabled when he realizes that only one other team’s car is in the parking lot.
“Mmm! If you stick your finger up your rectum, can I smell that too, babe?!?”
Thomas and Jill arrive in the parking lot next, followed immediately by Team VolleyBarbie. However, the girls wind up on a different shuttle to the airport, which keeps them behind. A slew of other teams follow, including Team HSN, which finds a fellow shrieker in Mallory of Team Kentucky, when they manage to convince their shuttle driver to leave Team Hot Docs in the parking lot. Their 7 combined brain cells are jumping ship as we speak. If that driver resists the urge to ram that shuttle into a wall, he’s a stronger person than me.
At the ticket counter, the Team Token snags the first spot, and Thomas and Jill arrive second. Chad and Stephanie manage to get there third, even after Stephanie idiotically convinces Chad that they have to wait in a long line at a normal American Airlines ticketing counter. If this stupidity prove constant, we’ll have an answer for why she’s with him. Luckily for them, an AA employee points out their mistake and they manage to run over to the correct counter before Team VolleyBarbie can make it there.
The other teams all convene at the ticket counter for the second flight, that is, all the teams except for Team Gleek (nicknamed similarly by the racers), which is still lost. And then they begin to sing. AGHHH. Please get eliminated quickly. Everyone manages to get on the right planes, and on their way to horrify the United Kingdom.
“Women. Boobs. Talking. Me. Oh God. Deep Breaths.”
Once in London, the three teams on the first flight head out for Stonehenge after figuring out which side of the car the steering wheel is on. I’d mock this, if only I wasn’t sure I’d do the same thing. Team Token wisely stops to get a map, informing us that Gay Shaq has his undergrad from Stanford and his MBA from the University of Arizona. Suck it, Thomas! Chad and Stephanie get lost, circling around the airport, and Chad starts showing an angry side to go with his gross, retarded and mooby sides. What is she DOING with this guy? When he snaps at her for not switching lanes when he told her it was clear, she explains that she was trying to take in being in London. “Who CARES about being here? I don’t care about being here right now,” he replies. Charming. How you feeling about that real estate decision now, hun?
The other plane lands, and the same chaos repeats itself. We learn that the blonde of Team Hot Docs (Nat? Kat? Rat? Hat? Bat?) is an insulin-dependent diabetic, so everyone cross your fingers and hope for some good sugar shock drama this season. The slutty mom of Team Adoption is this year’s idiot who goes on the race without knowing how to drive a stick shift, and she grinds the gears and makes her car emit enough smoke it chokes off Team Gleek as they try to harmonize their favorite Lady Gaga song. In that case, I’m all about her breaking the car! The Gleeks finally give up and drive off with them, after trying to help and finding that Andie has indeed broken the car.
“THIS is where I come from? I am so unbelievably fucked.”
Thanks to the miracle of a commercial break, Andie finally realizes the difference between forward and reverse and gets the car moving. Meanwhile, despite having been on the later plane, Team Hot Docs is the first to arrive in Stonehenge. The clue directs them Eastnor Castle, by telling them to find the opposite of Noreaster Castle. Other teams begin arriving — including Team Tats even though Vicky has never heard of Stonehenge — and Thomas puts his oh-so-impressive brain to use by looking this place up online while the other teams blindly charge ahead. It appears that the teams are all pretty neck and neck, except for Team Token which seems significantly behind due to navigational issues. Perhaps Gay Shaq should be spending more time looking at that map he bought rather than plotting out Kazaam 2: You Got 3 More Wishes, Foo’!
On the way, one of the girls of Team VolleyBarbie take a bit of pressure off Andie by showing that she too is a moron who didn’t master stick before the race. Ladies, you’re killing me. Thomas and Jill, Team Hot Docs and Team HSN arrive at the ridiculously gorgeous castle, and pick up Route Info that says they must climb a ladder propped up against the side of the castle to retrieve a flag while members of the local theater guild throw shit at them from above. They then must maneuver an ancient boat across a narrow river and deliver the flag to a knight in shining armor. As the teams grab their flags and rush off for the river, we check back in with Team Kentucky, which has just realized it has a flat. Team Gleek is with them, and the guys hover around uncertainly like they did when Team Adoption had car trouble. MOVE you idiots! They finally get the concept that this is The Amazing Race, not the The Amazing AAA, and leave Team Kentucky behind. If they don’t pick it up, they will learn firsthand that nice guys never win. Or get laid. But they already know that second part.
Back to the castle, where Brook is rapidly climbing up my aggravation list with her repeated screeching to Claire to hurry the f up. Claire is a bit slow, and not in as good of shape, but still STFU, Brook. The three teams hit the boats, and Team HSN immediately sinks. But before Brook can start screaming that Claire does NOT need to sample every tin of cookies sold during the holiday specials, the other teams sink, too. Turns out these ancient boats require precise balancing, so everyone heads back to shore to figure it out.
“My Notre Dame degree makes me the expert on balancing!”
“I’m helping too!”
“Did I say you could talk, HAIRDRESSER?!”
Mad Chad and Stephanie and Team VolleyBarbie are now arriving at the castle, the latter of which must have finally figured out how to drive its car, just as Team Token finally gets to Stonehenge. Thomas and Jill work well together and gets across the river first, about the same time that Mad Chad and Stephanie try to get in their boat. Mad Chad lives up to his new name by repeatedly screaming at Stephanie for capsizing their boat, despite the problem being that his moobs add an extra 10 pounds each to his side of the boat.
Team Adoption and Team Tats are still looking for the castle, with the former telling locals the wrong name of the castle, and the latter choosing brilliant places to ask for directions like hair salons. You’re in a country where everyone speaks English! What the hell are you going to do once you get into Asia? Team Token is also still out there, but may still have a chance due to other people sucking enough.
At the front of the pack, the three teams are learning that for this week’s Roadblock, one team member will have to use a giant slingshot-looking apparatus to fire a watermelon and knock down a metal knight across the field. Thomas quickly nails his, and he and Jill run off to the nearby Pit Stop as Team Gleek arrives at the castle (and ponders a potty break, natch) and Mad Chad and Stephanie sink their boat for the 12th time in a row. As Mad Chad goes into another moob-quivering rage, they get passed up by Team VolleyBarbie.
“I’m really hoping that by the end of this, at least one girl will show me a nipple. I’ll even take an areola.”
Thomas and Jill arrive at the Pit Stop, winning the Express Pass, which turns out to only be good through the 8th leg of the race. Nat nails her knight and Team Hot Docs checks in second as Team YouTube (remember them? Me neither) begins scaling the castle wall. At the slingshots, one of the VolleyBarbies is now trying to hit her knight, as Claire of Team HSN begins showing signs of exhaustion and frustration. Brook, who is still yapping constantly, tells Claire to put the watermelon “right in the kisser.” And you know what? Claire listens for once.
CLAIRE, Brook told you to stop eating on the job!
HAHA, oh man, that shit never gets old and I must have watched this clip a dozen times over the last few weeks. Claire rolls over and seems surprisingly well, complaining quietly of not being able to feel her face and having a headache. If that was ME, you don’t even want to know the shitfit I would throw. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have something hit me in the face that fast and that hard. Maybe we should ask Jill about it.
Claire wonders what they should do now, and Brook immediately replies that Claire has to finish the task. HAHA. She’s right, as there’s a rule that you are forbidden to swap team members in Roadblocks, but the “duh” tone of voice and the “sucks to be you” shrug is just hysterical. Meanwhile, Team Gleek finishes crossing the river, passing Mad Chad and Stephanie, and Mad Chad tells us that he is “humbled” by that experience and won’t be judging teams based on appearances anymore. I expect that to last approximately four seconds.
Claire and her concussion get back on the slingshot, as Brook tells us it’s not Claire’s fault that they’re losing their lead, and begins cracking up as she adds “afterall, she did get whacked in face with a watermelon!” LOL, it’s terrible that she’s laughing, but I would be too if I were her. I’d also probably start practicing my impression of Claire at the moment of impact, so that I get the biggest laugh possible at dinner later that night. I’m a bad person. If Brook can control her screeching and nagging, we might be besties.
Claire knocks down her knight on her second attempt, and is followed immediately by Connor, the less dorky half of Team Gleek. Not like that’s saying much. Team VolleyBarbie finishes at that moment too, and everyone begins running in different directions, looking for the Pit Stop. Team Gleek outruns Claire and her numb face, to literally fall on their asses at the Pit Stop in third place. Sexy. Say goodbye to that aerola, boys. Team HSN is in fourth, and Team VolleyBarbie is right behind in fifth. Meanwhile, Mad Chad and Steph are at the slingshot, Team Kentucky is just arriving at the castle, and Team YouTube cannot figure out how to get into its boat.
“Whoa, this is nothing like the rice paddy boats!”
“Wow, Dad, that’s a perfect cultural difference for another hi-larious YouTube video!”
“…We are super boring.”
“Yes, yes we are.”
Since the middle of the pack doesn’t really matter, it’s time to check in on our pathetic stragglers, all of whom are still trying to FIND the castle. Team Adoption finally decides to get a map, Team Tats seems to have a vague idea of where it is, but poor Team Token seems to be in an urban area and completely bewildered. Come on guys, pull it together! I like you!
Mad Chad hits his knight, and his team metaphorically circles back to the beginning of the episode when they randomly decided to stand in a long AA line, as they decide to go look for the Pit Stop on the far side of the castle instead of thinking for a moment and picking up on the clues that lead the other teams to the Pit Stop. Team Kentucky scales the castle, Mallory screaming enough to make Brook seem like a meek little mouse. I’m convinced her father has gone deaf from banging her all these years, because he doesn’t even seem to notice. Or maybe deafness is just a genetic abnormality of all inbred people. Someone from the south, help me out. They make their way to the river, where Team YouTube is still repeatedly capsizing. As they get passed, Team YouTube finally sees what they’ve been doing wrong and decide they should get IN the boat. What the hell else have they been doing out there?
Team Adoption, map in hand, arrives at the castle, just as Team Tats and Team Token finally get directions. Despite “just” getting directions, Team Tats arrives seemingly minutes behind Team Adoption. Ahh, editing. Mad Chad and Steph are now in the castle, finally realizing that they may have made a big mistake. I’m assuming this is because a tour guide told them to get the f out, not because of an actual realization. Teams Kentucky and YouTube head for the slingshot as Team Adoption gets in their boat and Team Tats finishes scaling the castle wall — only to walk back and forth in front of their flag while asking the actors if they are the “battlement” from which they’re to retrieve their flag. Between this and the Stonehenge comment earlier, they are officially the dumbest team, which says a lot so far. And then it gets even better as they figure out the flag thing — but then pace back and forth in front of the boats, wondering out loud where the boats are and if they need to cross the river to retrieve a boat from the far side. All while insisting that they’re not dumb! No, you’re not. You’re retarded.
“Stupid lumps of random, two-person sized, buoyant, waterproof straw! Are you judging me for my tattoos? Don’t you dare think I’m dumb!”
Team Token now is finally at the castle, as Team Kentucky and Team YouTube hit their knights and check in at the Pit Stop as teams six and seven, respectively. Mad Chad and Stephanie FINALLY find Phil at this point, and check in as team eight instead of team six, like they would have been. Mad Chad gives the humble spiel again, and I still don’t believe him. Team Adoption checks in as team nine, as Nick of Team Tats begins the slingshot and Team Token arrives at the boats. Okay, there is officially no way that Team Token is going to survive. Gay Shaq in that boat? Come on.
Sure enough, Nick hits the knight and he and Vicky check in as team ten, finishing the first leg in the country of London. Oy. Team Token struggles so much with the boat that they’re pulled from the race and told to go straight to Phil. I TOLD you guys that water would be their doom! Ah, stereotypes. They exist for a reason, my friends. Mostly to allow people like me to be assholes. And with that, the first team is eliminated from the race.
So that’s our first episode! What did you think? Who’s your favorite? Which team do you dislike the most? Are you glad to see Team Token go? I’m pretty sad, as they seemed like really likable guys. I’d much rather have seen bland Team Adoption go, of the bottom teams. Are you surprised by how well several of the all-female teams did, especially Team HSN after Claire got smacked in the face? Would you have laughed as much about it as Brook did? At least Claire seemed to have a sense of humor about it later in her interview. But it’s also possibly the brain damage talking.
See you next week!