In the interest of keeping last night’s Amazing Race spoilers off the main page of TVgasm, I’ll be brief and nondescript with this introduction.
(muffled cough in the background, crickets chirping)
Okay, this isn’t working. More after the jump…Well, last night was the night that avid viewers of Amazing Race 6 have been waiting for: the proud elimination of Jonathan and Victoria. We’ll spare the “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead” jokes — mostly because it creates an odd metaphor, what with Jonathan being a male and all — but that won’t deter us from reveling in this heinous couple’s donkey-induced failure. I could not be more happy that Jonathan Baker met an untimely end in the competition, and I hope his dreams are tormented with “What ifs”, “If onlys”, and little trolls singing Christmas songs – you know, for variety.
Jonathan and Victoria — a.k.a. Team JV (damn, wish I had thought of that earlier) — started off well on the series, but last episode, their momentum seemed to peter out as they barely survived a foot race to fifth place. While they lagged behind, their occasional arch rivals, Adam and Rebecca, used a Fast Forward to secure first place. Therefore, kicking off this week’s show were none other than Adam and Rebecca — or “Rebecker”, as Phil calls her — who were directed to the French city of Nice (rhymes with “niece”. Actually, sounds exactly like “niece”… unless you’re Bolo, in which case it sounds like “nice”) where they were to find a bust of Albert the First. In usual Amazing Race fashion, the teams needed to wait another dozen hours for the next ferry to Nice, which meant there would be plenty of downtime… downtime for Kendra to propose her favorite activity: research! I swear, if this woman babbles about research any more, I’ll… I’ll… honestly, I don’t know what I’ll do. Probably sneer and cross my arms. That’ll show her.
Jonathan meanwhile blinded audiences nationwide with a shirtless recitation of the first clue. Honestly, it was like watching a flabby brillo pad leading a morning assembly. Luckily, he soon covered up his unsightly torso, and while he and Victoria went off to yell and beat each other, Hayden and Aaron – who had finished last on a non-elimination leg – set off on the humbling task of begging for money (or “bay-gging” as Hayden said it). As usual, the little money twist had no effect on the race as Hayden and Aaron quickly gathered the Euros for a ride on the coolest looking ferry EVER.
As teams descended on Nice, the bizarre accents popped up left and right. Everyone pretty much pulled a Charla and added some strange European touches to English words, as if that would help the French speakers. Victoria was guiltiest of this misguided tactic as she ordered a cabbie to drive to the “statchoo” (statue). To her credit, she did try her hand at French vocab, but her pronunciation was so mangled that she might as well have been talking jibberish (She pronounced “arrête” like “areety”).
Anyway, the next clue told the kids to get packing for Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. And that plunking noise was the sound of Kendra’s heart sinking. Yes, another trip to that most dreaded of places: Africa. “It’s gonna be depressing and Third World. We just went to the Third World,” she complained. She then threw out her new T-Shirt: “I Survived the Third World and I’m Never Going Back!!!”
Also having difficulty with this course change was Bolo, but only because he simply could not pronounce “Addis Ababa.” Hearing Bolo read is funny enough, but throw in some crazy Ethiopian geography, and it’s like taking a self-guided tour through the sounds “ad” “ab” “ah” and “ba”.
While Bolo navigated through his very own phonetic hall of mirrors, Jonathan and Victoria had – shocker – another meltdown. You see, at the top of the show, Jonathan said the team would get back to basics: Victoria would handle the groundwork, and he would handle the airports. This all changed, however, when Victoria led them to a travel agent whose computer system happened to be down. “From now on, this is my part!” Jonathan barked, as if Victoria had had some control over the situation. Way to be logical Jonathan. To be fair, Victoria did ignore the business’s name, “Broken Computer Travel Agency.”
At the airport, Bolo and Lori made a reservation at one desk, wandered off to scope out better flights, and then returned to book their original flight. The only catch was that upon return, a little line had formed. No problem though. Lori and Bolo simply skipped ahead and completed their transaction, much to the chagrin of acid-tongued Kendra who busted out her usual “barbarians” insult. She then added that she was “actually getting sick” of the wrestlers’ antics. Oooh. She’s “actually getting sick” of them! She then added “I’m presently annoyed! And I am currently changing my state to exasperated! Barbarians!”
Nevertheless, the wrestlers snagged the first flight out to a Rome layover (Barbarians in Gaul headed to Rome? The fall of the Empire is nigh!!!). Bolo made sure to dismiss his caveman image by stomping down the jetway as if to say “Me Bolo. Me walk on giant bird.” He then bopped his head on the plane’s door frame, and no that wasn’t one of my little embellishments. Bolo hit head. Bolo sad now.
The key is to duck before the door frame, not after.
Elsewhere in the airport, Jonathan and Victoria seemed to be momentarily at peace as the old lady snagged some tickets with the grace of a porn star snorting coke. “Victoria was victorious,” John extolled with about as much creativity as a green pea. He then added “Adam is adamant, Hayden is hateful, Kris is Christian, and Rebecca is… dammit Victoria! Why must you always distract me!” Nevertheless, while Bolo and Lori settled in for a comfy evening in Rome, everyone else got some shuteye in the Nice International Airport. The next morning, Hayden sprung awake like a re-animated corpse only to find Rebecca and Adam bickering in the corner. It was more of the same for these two: Rebecca can’t stand Adam anymore, Adam throws a hissy fit, Rebecca says it’s over, Adam forces his way into Rebecca’s chair awkwardly, Rebecca and Adam’s hips fall asleep as the two become permanently wedged in the chair. Eventually Rebecca pulled a white hood over her face as she tried to hide her tears from the world. In an illogical attempt to show support, Adam pulled a hood over his head as well. Um, it’s not like she’s trapped in the hood and feels embarrassed. Take your hood off Adam.
Eventually, after a bunch of layovers and crap like that, the teams arrived in Ethiopia where we discovered that Freddy had aged ten years. I didn’t know if that was because he was exhausted from the flight or from Kendra and her inane comments. You know, like this stellar observation about Ethiopia: “This place is much better than Dakar. It’s a different type of poverty. It’s like these people choose to live this way.” Yes, they don’t mind the hunger and shoddy living conditions. In fact, that whole famine thing in 1985 was just an elaborate plan to get the reigning pop stars to sing a song together. Kendra was keen to note that the cows also seemed fatter in Ethiopia. It all supported her award winning bovine/poverty theory which can be found in this month’s issue of “Dumb Observations Quarterly.”
After taking a charter flight to a remote region of the Ethiopia, teams then had to drive to a small town with the help of a guide. For Jonathan and Victoria, this meant nabbing an adolescent off the street and luring him into a van. Note to Ethiopia: please consider the Amber Alert. At the town, teams encountered their latest Detour: “Raise the roof or mud the hut.” Personally, I would have liked Phil Koegan to have emerged wearing a clock around his neck and pumping his hands to the sky, rapping “Raise the Roof or Let’s Get Dirrty.” Then he could have beatboxed a little, barked like a dog, and asked for his girl, Xtina, but that’s optional.
Anyway, teams had the option of carrying a roof a certain distance with the help of some locals or slab mud on a hut until an entire wall was covered. For some reason, half the teams forgot that the brute force option is always fastest, especially if you’ve got seven other people helping you out. Then again, Jonathan was never one to jump at anything too strenuous; so he was only too happy to strip down to his skivvies and tackle that mud. Yes, the doughy velcro patch returned. Also partaking in the mudslinging activities were the wrestlers and the models, the latter of which almost faced a major setback when Freddy nearly gashed his finger off on a splinter. Seriously, it looked like he had stuck his finger in that Hungarian soup.
Meanwhile, Rebecca and Adam made short work of their task as they quickly delivered the roof to a hut. With everything firmly in place, all that was left to be done was to place a jug at the top of the roof. This, of course, led to the standard Adam freak out as he snipped “I’ve never placed a jug on a roof before!” Come on now. It’s not like he was crawling on top of a cathedral. We’re talking about a nine foot high ladder climb. Luckily, Adam managed to persevere, and soon he was reading the next clue.
Teams now had to take two donkeys and guide them up a path to a local church which was carved out of the ground. Rebecca had considerable trouble with her donkey, ultimately causing Adam to take control and lead the animals out of their holding pen. One might say he was proficient with the asses. He handled the asses with a firm yet delicate touch, if you will. Actually, the only one to make a pun in this situation was Aaron, who giggled to the camera, “I’m good at guiding asses” and then pointed to a clueless Hayden. Then fearing the wrath of his shrew-like girlfriend, he nervously added “Just kidding.”
Back at the mud huts, Victoria quickly joined Freddy on the injured list as she too sliced open her finger on a splinter. She immediately devolved into a windy bag of shrieks and bawls as the locals tended to her injury. Jonathan, ever the loving husband, simply shrugged and said “I don’t know what’s wrong with her.” Kendra, usually the dim bulb in any situation, won points in my book as she finally became the first one to scold Jonathan. “Help her, Jonathan!” she screamed, almost with as much intensity as Victoria. Kendra then called him an asshole and became my own personal hero of the episode.
Jonathan and Victoria were last to leave the Detour, but their challenges continued as they took some circuitous route to the donkeys. Victoria once again exploded with a flood of screaming that sounded like a chew toy being trampled by an angry mob of people. “Give me my shoes! Give me my shoes!” she yelled as Jonathan scampered off with all his wife’s clothing. Meanwhile, other teams reached the Roadblock, which involved taking a pendant from the church and finding a matching one amongst a hundred worshippers. Hayden took on the challenge first while Lori and Bolo read the Roadblock clue: “Who has an eye for detail?” Yeah, um, Bolo banged his head against a door frame today. I don’t think details are quite his thing (plus let’s not forget his counting abilities: “68… 69… 80″). Unsurprisingly, Lori took this one.
Walking with the donkeys, Kendra suddenly found herself short of breath. “I can’t breathe!” she screamed fearfully. “The poverty… so.. beautiful…” Luckily, a local kid offered to carry her backpack, a kind gesture that later moved Kendra to tears. She explained how everyone was just so nice and helpful — the kids even said “Come on Kendra, we’ll do it together!” Well, actually, it wasn’t so much the kids as it was a little hand puppet she made to pass the time. Apparently the “kids” also said “Oooh Kendra. You’re so pretty. I love you Kendra.”
Team JV meanwhile finally found the donkeys but mistakenly only took one of them to the Roadblock. Jonathan immediately blamed Victoria for causing the oversight, but there was still hope. Adam and Rebecca arrived at the Roadblock which was also home to the rare Yield. Inexplicably, the two opted to use the Yield on not Jon and Victoria but Freddy and Kendra. I suppose their only excuse was that they saw a threat in the dimwitted models. Taking a page from Jonathan, Freddy immediately blamed Kendra for being too slow and subjecting them to a Yield vulnerability, but unlike Victoria, Kendra stood up for herself with a little “You best be shutting up before I bust a cap in yo’ ass” attitude.
Meanwhile, down in the church area, Lori became exasperated when she couldn’t find a match for her pendant. “This is stupid,” she proclaimed with her trademark twang. Eventually she came upon a guy with an identical necklace and complained “This is the only one that even looks like the right one.” Uh, that’s because it IS the right one. The worshipper handed a clue over to Lori, and I was surprised she didn’t roll her eyes and say, “And this looks just like one of dem clues we’re always gettin’!”
Hayden, Aaron, Lori and Bolo were the first two teams to arrive at the Pitstop, with a cranky Phil telling the wrestlers “You guys really don’t smell very good right now.” Lori then forced Phil’s face into her armpit and yelled “How’s that smell now, bitch?” But seriously, was there ever a time when Lori and Bolo looked like they smelled nice?
While Phil hosed down Lori and Bolo, Adam spazzed out over the Roadblock by running out of the church and off to some random area away from the worshippers. Rebecca watched helplessly from the sidelines as she muttered “Never send a woman to do a man’s job.” Hey, she said it, not me. Unfortunately for her, the Yield kind of backfired as Jonathan and Victoria had not yet returned with their donkeys, effectively putting Kendra and Freddy back in the race. As Freddy zoomed off to the church, his girlie called out, “Honey, be very detailed!” And like clockwork, Freddy slid onto his butt and into a post. Yeah, first detail: watch where you’re stepping. Upon rising, Freddy immediately lashed out, yelling “Who put that post there! Whoever did that I will break in half. I will break you!” Still, despite wipeouts and nefarious posts, Freddy made short work of the Roadblock, and he and Kendra placed fourth behind the dependably chipper Kris and Jon.
With directions to the Pitstop in hand, Adam freaked out and ranted like a lunatic for no good reason. Eventually, he got his act together and marched with Rebecca towards the Pitstop. The producers tried to make Jonathan and Victoria appear neck and neck with the personal trainers, but it was clear that their number was up. That didn’t mean Jonathan couldn’t be annoying to the very last minute. As he and Victoria walked towards Phil, they managed to gather a gaggle of African kids, and for some odd, patronizing reason, he encouraged everyone to raise their right hand. Was this to show some sort of racial solidarity? Because last time I checked, Jonathan wasn’t in the Black Panthers. Honestly, I wanted to vomit as he derived some sanctimonious pleasure from this spectacle. Consider his high horse saddled up and ready to go.
Thankfully, Jonathan and Victoria were finally eliminated. “This was a very trying day. I’m disappointed,” Jonathan said, adding “I will now beat my wife.”
“Did you feel you let each other down?” Phil asked. Both said no, although Jonathan did say “Well, it was her fault though.” In the end, the Amazing Race has finally expunged itself of arguably its worst pair of contestants ever. These two weren’t fun to hate. They were just plainly awful. Of course now we have a new question to debate. As Jonathan and Victoria pop up in various news outlets this week, how many excuses will Jonathan have for his behavior? I’m saying at least five.