Things that I learned from this week’s Amazing Race:
1) I have officially become a conspiracy theorist regarding Rob and Amber’s unending streak of “good luck.”
2) Ray and Deana are a lethal mixture of bland, annoying, and whiny.
3) We get two full hours of Amazing Race fun next week featuring guest stars Bleeding Head Wound and Overturned Vehicle. Can’t wait!
But anyway. Enumeration is for losers. Let’s recap!The episode began with Lynn and Alex happily bounding out of the Pitstop first. The two boasted about their gigantic lead, noting that they were hours ahead of Rob and Amber, their arch rivals. Thankfully, if history has taught us anything, it’s that teams never have a chance to catch up on the Amazing Race. And yes, that was sarcasm. Alex and Lynn losing their lead was about as inevitable as the two of them happily embracing over the Spring Sale at Banana Republic.
Anyway, the guys headed out to Cabaña La Guatana, a horse ranch that promised to faithfully provide a time crunch, and sure enough, the establishment didn’t open until 6:30 AM. The good news for Alex and Lynn was that they only had to wait thirty minutes instead of the customary twelve hours. Meanwhile, Uchenna and Joyce left the Pitstop next, but they soon became lost on the back roads of Argentina. Yes, navigation proved to be difficult for the beleaguered couple as Uchenna commented, “It’s like giving birth, man.” He then added, “Not that we’d know. Have I mentioned that we’re childless?”
Speaking of broken records (okay, to be fair, Uchenna and Joyce are really not very broken-record-ish), Ron and Kelly soon showed up on the screen. Our favorite POW — or F-POW, as I like to call him (note that I will never call him that again) — said that he and the little lady had no long term alliances with the other teams. “Coming from the military, you’re used to being able to trust people,” he said immediately. Is there anything he can’t relate to the military? “So I was watching the Golden Girls last night, and when the gals were all digging into some cheesecake, I couldn’t help thinking of the unsavory desserts we were served in the military. Incidentally, my commanding officer’s name was B. Arthur.” I just made that entire line up, but I hate Ron even more now.
At 6:30 AM, the ranch opened up, allowing Lynn and Alex to grab the next clue. Turns out this was home to the next roadblock. Someone had to mount a horse and then perform a traditional gaucho activity: ride through a course of barrels and then “spear a ring”, all under forty seconds. Doesn’t sound very intense, but keep in mind that “ring” is Argentinean slang for “small child.”
Alex opted to do the Roadblock, and as Lynn served as a cheerleader on the sidelines, we received a glimpse into what their most intimate moments might sound like: “Faster! Faster! Faster! [pause] Alex, that was so close. You missed it by one sec.” Joyce meanwhile said that since she’d ridden a horse once, she could take care of the challenge. She headed to the stable to pick out a steed, and when she found one that she liked, she cooed that he seemed nice. This was then followed with the patented Amazing Race slow-mo of doom. I guess Joyce will be biting it in a few minutes.
Sure enough, Joyce managed to pick what appeared to be the sole rodeo bronco in the mix. The horse immediately reared up on its hind legs, sending Joyce tumbling to the ground multiple times. Well, so much for that baby.
Lynn and Alex eventually finished the Roadblock and received the next clue. Teams were to get on one of two flights heading to Buenos Aires. Once there, they’d have to go to a park and find a shady man wearing all black. Not sure who the guy was, but he appeared to be a strange mixture of Zorro and The Undertaker. Either way, I was pretty sure he wanted to murder all the teams.
Ron and Kelly meanwhile arrived at the Roadblock, ready to kick some Iraqi ass. Kelly volunteered to do this challenge, causing Ron to tell the locals, “Yesterday I ate crap. Today she gets to ride a horse. Just want y’all to know that.” He then added, “By the way, I was a POW. Just want y’all to know that too.”
While Ron and Kelly were horsin’ around at the Roadblock (nice pun, right? That would have won an Emmy had it come out of Sarah Jessica Parker’s mouth), Rob and Amber were lost on the roads with the Brohans behind them. For once, Rob and Amber appeared to be genuinely alarmed, and they seemed ready to ask “Where’s that nice guy from CBS to help me?” Well, luckily, they managed to stumble upon the ranch and disaster was averted. The brothers arrived shortly after, with Greg happily chirping “Good job, B! Good job, B!” You know these bros must love their initials. Especially Greg, whose friends I’m sure constantly shower him with “Whatup, G?” I’m also willing to bet his Friendster profile is littered with several “G Love and Special Sauce” puns. Or at least a few shout outs to G-Unit. If this were a sitcom, a cute little girl would enter and say “Still talking about his initials? Gee whiz!” Then we’d cut to commercial as the audience claps.
By the way, speaking of Friendster, feel free to become TVgasm’s friend.
Anyway, as Rob dealt with the horsies, Amber continued to marvel at their ability to find the ranch. “Somebody’s watching over us. That’s for sure,” she guffawed. Yeah, I think that “somebody” is CBS. Our conspiracy theory grew stronger as Rob completed the course with a time of “Perfect!” Normally, I’d just assume that meant he finished the Roadblock under forty seconds, but since I have my Drudge Report cap on, I’ll just put it out there that we didn’t see his time because they gave him a free pass. JUST SAYING.
Meanwhile, over at the airport, all the teams thus far had boarded the first plane leaving for Buenos Aires. Well, everyone had boarded except Rob and Amber. Even the brothers had managed to get on — and with just three minutes to spare. Surely the Survivor vets would be stuck on the second flight leaving five hours later! I mean, the cabin door was closed and ready to go. As the entire plane buzzed with anti-Ramber sentiments (“Survive THAT!” said one team vindictively), the mood suddenly turned somber as the couple boarded at the last second. Well, that was very generous of CBS to hold the plane for them. Honestly, they could have been halfway to Buenos Aires, and I think CBS would have had the plane turn around for its reality darlings. “It’s funny how we always go from fifth to first,” said an aw-shucks Rob. It is funny. Some might say uncanny. Others might even say “planned”.
As for the other three teams, Ray and Deana left the Pitstop first, taking special time to bash the “oldsters.” Honestly, if you’re so concerned about the old people beating you, maybe you shouldn’t have quit during the last Roadblock. Nevertheless, Ray and Deana arrived at the Roadblock and immediately encountered problems with the horses. Actually, it wasn’t so much the horses as it was Deana. She seemed afraid to spur the horse, lest it buck her from its back and trample her to death on national television. While she toiled, Meredith, Gretchen, Susan, and Patrick hit the pavement in search of the ranch. They both encountered a street performer who juggled conveniently amidst the traffic. Gretchen was immediately sympathetic to his plight, noting how he’s probably saving up for college (or, you know, food). “God bless them,” she said in her warbly voice. Susan expressed her sympathy in a much more succinct way: a car honk. I would have preferred her to stick her head out the window and yell “Get outta the way, dipshit!” and then maybe add a “Fuggedaboutit!”
At the Roadblock, Meredith made quick work out of the obstacle course, causing his beloved to come running with open arms and marveling “What a gaucho you are! What a gaucho you are!” Methinks this gaucho’s gonna be getting some pampas lovin’ tonight! Deana meanwhile struggled with her equine counterpart. “Oh Lord please!” she cried as she tried to spur her horse into action. Okay, let’s not be too dramatic here Deana. It’s not like you were just shot in the abdomen.
Finally Ray figured out a way to motivate Deana and the horse. He took off his shirt. Huh? It seemed to work. I suppose the sight of his pasty white skin frightened the beast into action. Actually, in reality, I think Ray and Deana tied their shirts onto her feet and — never mind. I’m bored already.
Elsewhere in the Roadblock, the increasingly obnoxious Patrick snapped at his mom when she tried to help him out. “Hey Mom. Let’s try being quiet,” he seethed with a heaping load of passive aggression. “I want you to stop before we have an embarrassing moment,” he then added. I don’t understand. Do they pee their pants when they argue? Luckily, said embarrassing moment was avoided, although Patrick still managed to sound like an idiot as he hobbled away complaining “My crotch hurts.” If a horse kicked him in the groin and CBS missed it, I will be very VERY upset.
With the final three teams all completing the Roadblock, there was nothing left for them to do but wait at the airport for the 2:30 PM flight. The mood went from mildly competitive to disturbing when Susan and Patrick walked in, causing Gretchen to toot, “We’re still here! The menage-à-trois!” Oh man. That’s the last image I want to have. Gretchen then went on to add, “Yes, we’re a mighty threesome! We’re like a double-ended dildo, except with a third end! Oooooh!”
Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires, the first plane landed and wouldn’t you know it? Rob and Amber were out in front. After receiving the clue from the scary man in the park, teams were then told to find the docks at Le Tigre. No, they weren’t going to a fashion outlet. Le Tigre is actually a town in Argentina. Rob took a page from Charla as he asked for directions in English but with a Spanish accent. Must have done him well because he found the train station pretty quickly. And so did everyone else. On the ride over to the town, Lynn and Alex remarked that Ramber’s like an STD. The best thing they can do is protect themselves. Does this mean that if you have sex, Rob and Amber will appear? Because that would be really uncool.
At Le Tigre, teams encountered the Detour: Shipwreck or Islands. Hey, where’s the nice alliteration/rhyming? Clearly the Amazing Race intern named that Detour. Anyway, in both options, teams had to ride through a delta on an inflatable, motorized raft (I apologize — I do not know the specific name of this maritime vessel). In Shipwreck, teams have to search seven square miles of water and find a specific boat with only a thirty year old photo as a reference. In Islands, teams had to use a map to sail four miles away and locate a specific island. I was quite pleased with these options. Usually the show pits a search with some strenuous activity, and in recent years, the savvy teams have almost always opted for the brawn. But a dual search means we’ll get lots of people choosing different challenges. Me loves that.
Alex, Lynn, Rob, and Amber found the Detour first while Uchenna and Joyce struggled to orient themselves. “Where’re the docks?” asked Joyce. A quick survey of her surroundings showed that they were standing in the middle of a street. I’ll give you a hint, Joyce. The docks are by that big river RIGHT ACROSS THE WAY.
Speaking of the waterway, Rob and Amber’s watercraft quickly sped across the waves, even as the surf became choppy. “Holy Cannoli!” yelled Rob at one point. He then added “Mama Mia! Meetballs and Spaghetti! Pavoratti!” Unsurprisingly, Rob and Amber found their shipwreck almost instantaneously (conspiracy meter’s getting some strong readings…). Meanwhile, Lynn and Alex suffered at the hands of a broken engine. The two lost valuable time as they waited for a replacement boat to fetch them. Hardly a witty barb was had. It was almost as bad as the time Madonna tried to rap on that song. Almost.
Brian and Greg meanwhile found the shipwreck fairly quickly, causing them to exchange the lamest fist bump I’d ever seen. Granted, fist bumps are inherently lame as it is. But these guys bumped fists and then opened their palms and fingers as if some explosion of energy were emanating forth. To accentuate this, they both made a “Sssssszzzz!” sound to suggest that they were sizzzzzlin’! Truthfully, it just looked like they’d taken a page from the Sparky Polastri School For Jazz Hands.
Meanwhile, as Ramber arrived on the shores of Le Tigre, Rob made the random gesture of giving his beloved Red Sox hat to the local guide on the boat. I suppose it was a nice thing to do, but something tells me he has about twelve more of them, all of which he intends to auction off on eBay. Listen, being a reality whore is a full time job. Later, in the cab ride to the Pitstop, Rob noted “I’m telling you. We just get lucky. It’s like I was born with a horseshoe. Right up my ass!” And that’s horseshoe’s name: CBS.
Unsurprisingly, Rob and Amber reclaimed first place where they viewed a slideshow courtesy of Travelocity. Oh wait, that slideshow wasn’t live? Wow, I’m really gullible. Actually, what really happened was that they won another trip to somewhere, which has us wondering why Lynn and Alex were deprived of a similar prize last week. Anyway, Brian and Greg showed up in second place, followed by Uchenna and Joyce. Ron and Kelly took the fourth spot but seemed saddened by their Bronze-once-removed placing. “They beat us then,” said Ron dejectedly. Hey man, what happened to your “At least I’m not in a prison camp” mentality?
“You expect me, Phil Koegan, to believe that there’s a horse standing directly to the left of me? Please.”
With the first batch of teams checking in, it was time to reacquaint ourselves with the three straggling duos from the second flight. Ray was still on a diatribe against Meredith and Gretchen, this time saying “They’re a couple decades beyond where they need to be.” Um, Ray, you do realize that you’ll be old someday, right? And you’re going to probably hate the assholes who say the same thing about you.
Anyway, those old fogies who are a few decades beyond where they need to be managed to keep up just fine with Ray and Deana (who are a few decades behind where they need to be, at least intellectually). The two teams boarded the train to Le Tigre, leaving Susan and Patrick in the dust. Luckily, the mother and son were happily delusional about their place as they boarded another train three minutes later. They simply assumed they were in the lead since no one else had hopped on their train. Team Devious strikes again!
Meredith and Gretchen found the Detour first while gorilla and giraffe (aka Ray and Deana) wandered around Le Tigre. The old couple opted to find the island first, but curiously opted to ignore their map in favor of a simple trial and error strategy. This gave Donkey Kong enough time to find the Detour (after Susan and Patrick, mind you) and catch up. In fact, Ray and Deana found the next clue first, and when they passed Gretchen and Meredith moments later (and just around the corner from the clue), they played dumb, causing the old folks to follow them almost entirely back to the shore. Luckily for Meredith and Gretchen, the Mother/Son duo had the misfortune of climbing into a malfunctioning raft, causing a severe setback that they ultimately were unable to recover from.
The grandparents found their clue and as they stepped onto shore, Gretchen even got some action from the boat operator. Well, I mean, we all have to admit. She is quite sexy. Patrick meanwhile began pouting on the open seas, and it occurred to me that if this is the episode where he goes, I will be perfectly happy (although I’d rather have Ray and Deana go bye bye). Coming down to the final wire, the producers edited the material to make Susan and Patrick appear to be way closer than they most likely were. It was no surprise, therefore, that when Phil did his little “Thar she blows!” pointing, Meredith and Gretchen showed up at the Pitstop first. As Phil chatted them up, Meredith commented “The most amazing thing is that we’re still upright!” Gretchen then pinched his butt and said “Not for long, gaucho!”
Anyway, Susan and Patrick arrived last and were sadly eliminated, thus officially ending the reign of the Bianca, Debbie, Susan, Patrick era. It seemed like such a good alliance, and yet both teams went down in consecutive weeks. Luckily, Lynn and Alex have picked up the anti-Rob cause. Anyway, Phil asked Patrick why he thinks his mom seems so emotional, and the bitchy son replied “Maybe she should answer that.” Douchebag, the point of the question was for you to put yourself in your mom’s shoes — maybe learn something from her. Susan simply replied that she was an optimist and her son was a pessimist. Oooh. Nice maternal PA! Patrick rebuffed her by saying that he’s not so much a pessimist as he is a “realist.” Ah, fighting fire with fire! In the end, it was obvious that Patrick was neither a pessimist nor a realist. Just simply an asshole.
What do you think? Was CBS helping out its reality all-star team?