What is with The Amazing Race? Don’t the producers know that reality TV is supposed to rely on cow eyeballs and donkey rectums to gross out contestants? Last week the show forced contestants to nibble on chocolate. This week the big challenge was caviar. We know this is the classiest reality show on television, but must they rub it in our face? Oh, but I kid. I’d much rather watch these teams cry and shake and even growl in the face of a fish ovulation than endure another outing with rotten intestines and yak brains on The Real World/Road Rules Challenge.Now, I don’t mean to harp on this whole caviar thing, but don’t these people realize how fortunate they are to shovel oversized spoonfuls of this delicacy into their mouths? I mean, a fraction of these servings would cost an arm and a leg, let alone a two pound bowl. Now I know that two pounds of any food is a bit much, but let’s not forget that this wasn’t exactly nasty brussel sprouts they were chowing down on. If any generous soul out there wishes to purchase a kilogram of caviar for me, I will demonstrate just how easy it is to polish it off in no time.
Alas, my love of caviar is not shared universally, as evidenced first with Colin and Christie. After last week’s first place finish, the two Texans continued their domination tonight by making smart travel decisions and easily navigating through a detour that had them doing vodka shots off a sword. With a healthy lead that was all theirs to lose, Colin and Christie faced their biggest adversary yet: a bowl of caviar. Christie was apprehensive about taking on the roadblock, but Colin passive aggressively persuaded her into the food challenge anyway. It may not have been a smart move since the former beauty queen displayed the intestinal fortitude of a drunken vertigo victim, but I welcomed the sight of Christie completely devolving in a quaint Russian restaurant.
Colin and Christie have never been a totally, uh, interesting team, but I’ve occasionally enjoyed Colin’s psycho-killer game face, and tonight he busted it out in full force. As Christie languished with her bowl of caviar, Colin stared her down as if she had not only killed his family, but urinated on their graves. Occasionally he attempted to be supportive, but those ill-fated gestures usually wound up as passive-aggressive questions like “Do you want to mix the caviar with the juice?” or “Do you want to take smaller bites” or “Do you want to not suck at this mission?”
The normally contained Christie seethed with rage and obliged us with a bitter outburst that probably had half the production team running for cover. As these two went through a cycle of crying, glaring, complaining, hugging, and yelling, plucky Christians Brandon and Nicole arrived at the restaurant, only to suffer at the hands of the caviar smackdown as well. It’s been a difficult trip for the models/Ã¼ber-Christians/professional whiners. In tonight’s episode, they joined and then skipped out of yet another alliance, claiming that they needed to be ruthless. And by ruthless, they meant sobbing on a pile of blankets and sipping tea in a restaurant. Nicole looked as if she were eating the spawn of the devil himself, but doesn’t she realize that fish are supposed to represent Jesus and therefore fish eggs are… baby Jesuses? Okay, maybe not. By the way, major props to the producers for snagging a shot of a bunch of nuns filing by clueless Brandon and Nicole at the airport. There really was no significance to the shot, but it was oddly funny.
I’m glad there was some levity at the terminal because the race had turned pretty ugly at the airport, and earlier, at the bus station. When a civil, ordered queue for bus tickets completely dissintegrated, the show turned into a momentary squabblefest that was worthy of a Bunim/Murray Production. Amidst all this, stubborn Charla and Mirna managed to piss everyone off, especially Colin and of course Lance and Marshall. Then again, who aren’t Lance and Marshall pissed off at? Every two seconds they’re calling someone else a scumbag. Now come on guys. What’s with all the scumbag lines? Can’t you at least kick it up to douchebag?
Of course, Lance and Marshall’s PG putdowns had no affect on Mirna, who as a lawyer comes into contact with degenerates every day. Luckily, Mirna is able to tune them all out because she has God and Charla by her side, and therefore she will prevail. I wasn’t so sure if that would be the case when the duo faced an onslaught of setbacks that couldn’t be overcome by awkward utterings of “Amigo”, “I need el doctoro”, and “Rapido! Rapido!” The two were almost left behind the pack when they couldn’t find tickets to St. Petersburg, but somehow they managed to find the last two boarding passes in all of Argentina. Once in Russia, Charla and Mirna opted to block hockey pucks for the Detour, a task you would think would be difficult for a dwarf, but again, the girls passed with flying colors. I will note that it was all worth it to see Charla don a mini hockey uniform that made her look like Maggie Simpson in her star shaped snowsuit.
Eventually the gals joined the flock of teams languishing in caviar hell. Charla was the only one who seemed to actually enjoy the food, but she was by no means the fastest. That award goes to Chip, who pounded the delicacy as if it were… um… a delicacy. Chip’s swift consumption propelled him and his wife to a joyous first place finish, while Colin and Christie had to settle for the lowly silver medal. The two were on the verge of tears as Phil (who was resplendently decked out in a comfy but awkward down jacket this week) announced their second place finish. Colin looked like he wanted to beat his poor girlfriend – which TVgasm does not condone – and Christie looked like she had just survived her own personal Edward Albee play.
Marshall and Lance took the bronze with Charla and Mirna on their tale for fourth place. Meanwhile, Brandon finally coaxed Nicole away from some sort of caviar-induced coma and motivated her to finish off the blasphemous dish. I couldn’t help wondering if her nausea was due to the food or Brandon’s grating toddler talk: “Just two or three more bites and you’re done. Just two more. Good!!!”
Crammed into the end of the episode were the travails of the twins, the bowling moms, and Bob and Joyce. These teams didn’t have much screen time this week, and there was a mild effort to make the last two minutes seem exciting when it was clear that Bob and Joyce had fallen way behind the pack. Still, we did get a few gems such as when Kami (or was it Karli?) seemed to have a seizure at the hands of the notorious bowl o’ caviar. Later, when the two crossed the finish line, Kami (or was it Karli?) shivered and scowled with the angry look of that little girl in “The Ring”.
The bowling moms stayed fairly low key during the episode, managing to keep their endless enthusiasm off camera for much of the time. Linda practically inhaled the caviar, which nicely cushioned their lead over the shaking and twitching twins.
Poor Bob and Joyce fell victim to a badass layover. The producers played twinkly sad music as we watched the two complete their final challenges. It was a touching moment, seeing these two widow/ers give it their all when they had clearly lost. I only had one question on my mind: Do these two actually have sex? Ew, no that wasn’t it. What I wanted to know is why didn’t they just go for the Fast Forward? That’s usually the logical choice if you’re in last place. Oh well. Not everything makes sense in the world of Amazing Race. But at least it’s exciting.