It’s official. The Amazing Race is simply relentless. It grabs you, tosses you around, gets your heart racing, and then spits you out to the local news anchor at 11 pm. In Los Angeles, that means coming face to face with creepy Laura Diaz, aka Skeletor’s long lost Latina sister. It’s not a pleasant sight, but I digress. Tonight’s heart-pounding adventure almost set us free from the Debbie Downer ballast known as Marshall and Lance, but alas, it was Jim and Marsha, the military father and daughter, who brought up the rear. Too bad. We were just starting to like them too.Jim and Marsha spent the early portion of this race bickering and bleeding, but they seemed to have put that behind them as they headed into this third leg. One might say they were actually endearing. Marsha might have different words to describe her experience at the Buenos Aires domestic airport though. She found herself booking about thirty different flights all at once, including many tickets for other teams. When the dust settled and she finally looked at her itinerary, she realized that she hadn’t actually booked any reservations for herself. Wah wah wah. Looks like Marsha pressed her luck and hit a whammy. She and her father flew out of the airport last, placing them a good hour or more behind the next team. By the end of the episode, the two had closed in the gap, but clearly the Lord was giving love to other teams, like Ã¼ber Christian moppets, Brandon and Nicole.
The “dating/models” faced some tests of faith tonight when they encountered the most unholiest of obstacles, the muddy road. Brandon, who’s not really the brains of the operation – and not really the brawn either, advised Nicole to bring the car to a halt. Maybe he wanted to reason with the mud or bring it to salvation. Well, the mud would have none of it and this team had the distinction of being the only one dumb enough to stop the car in the muck. They needed to be towed out, and second place Charla and Mirna offered their services in a gesture of good will. They say good fences make good neighbors, so when Charla got zapped by a nearby electrical fence, we knew that the Charla/Mirna/Nicole/Brandon “alliance” wouldn’t last, even if they were all self-proclaimed “God-fearing” people.
Of course, any avid viewer of the show knows that alliances on The Amazing Race are about as fleeting as Phil Koegan’s occasional smile. Still, that didn’t stop Charla and Mirna from investing heavily in their makeshift alliance. They were therefore annoyed when the devout Christians abandoned them on the road (actually, it was Mirna who casually drove off into Never Never Land), and then again betrayed them in the airport by relying on Jim and Marsha for tickets. The cousins were absolutely SHOCKED that the partnership crumbled so easily and once again it was them against the world.
Actually, it was Mirna against Lance and Marshall. If Miramax’s Weinstein Brothers ever wanted to channel their obnoxious tendencies into pizza, they would be these guys. At every turn, the brothers tried to make “This sucks!” the “That’s hot” of The Amazing Race, starting with a battle of will at the airport counter. When Charla and Mirna beat them to a ticket line, the petulant brothers once again eschewed the rational techniques of discussion and dialogue in favor of bullying and mockery. Later, after they yelled “Bitch!” at Mirna from across a parking lot in Patagonia, their cocky bravura was quickly squashed when an ingenious chocolate mission stalled the two for over an hour.
On this week’s Roadblock, teams had to bite into thousands of chocolates until they found one with a creamy white center. Everyone seemed to be having a ball, especially the bowling moms – but when don’t they have a grand old time? It was no surprise that Joyce leaped at the opportunity to eat chocolate. Those of us with chocoholic mothers can spot their kind from a mile away.
As team after team successfully scavenged through the chocolatey mess, Lance and Marshall languished on the sidelines, unable to find the white center. Lance (or maybe it was Marshall. I really don’t know) complained that he couldn’t go on, and I couldn’t help wondering if the oaf had actually been eating the chocolate instead of spitting it out. I wouldn’t be surprised. While he whined in the corner (paging Flo from season 3), Chip and Kim continued their silly battle against the twins.
Still smarting from a minor taxi confrontation last episode, Kami and Karli had gone from loving Chip to hating him. I don’t really know why. The taxi incident seemed pretty harmless, but spoiled girls are want to vilify people who challenge them, and in this case, jolly Chip was their latest victim. Oh well. The twins managed to pull ahead of their mortal enemies by crossing the finish line in fifth place. The twins usually do something incredibly stupid each episode, and tonight, their moment of brilliance came when they opted to backstroke through the foot deep waters to reach Phil on his island finish line. The stoic host blithely pointed out that all the other teams had actually walked through the shallow waters. On a side note, tonight, Phil was accompanied by a gaggle of little Patagonia children who all snickered when the twins made the illogical choice to swim. This image confirmed my theory that Phil is incredibly awkward next to children, especially those wearing non-Western outfits.
As for first place, that distinction belonged to blandly intense Texans Colin and Christie. Despite some condescending remarks from Colin and his unbridled intensity, this duo had an easy time of moving to the head of the pack. I don’t like them very much though, so I hope they come in last next week. Winning this week’s silver medal were Charla and Mirna, the latter of whom was sure to primp a little before her latest encounter with Phil. I don’t know many people who think Phil is terribly dreamy, but you gotta respect Mirna’s dedication to the man. Jeff Probst gets all the attention. It’s about time Phil got a little love too.
Next week, it looks like the teams are heading to Russia where they’ll be gorging on caviar. I certainly wouldn’t mind that challenge, and since I’ll surely be eating some sort of Hot Pocket-centric dinner, I’ll probably get pretty annoyed when Brandon and Nicole shun the caviar to bawl in the corner. On that note, if anyone would care to donate caviar to the TVgasm staff, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.