It’s gettin’ down to the wire on The Amazing Race: Family Edition, and with only four teams left and something like thirty-four episode before the finale, it looks like we’ll be facing quite a few non-eliminations. Okay, to be fair, we only have three more weeks before this most regrettable of seasons wraps up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the producers throw in one of those sneaky non non-elimination rounds. You know what I’m talking about: the teams show up at the mat only to discover THE LEG ISN’T OVER! To be continued! Oh well, no use trying to predict what may or may not happen. For now, we might as well look back on this week’s installment, which would have been quite good had the final outcome not been so predictable (or disappointing). The crazy Weaver family was in full hypocritical effect, which always makes things entertaining. As much as I hate them, without their cheery dunderheadedness, I don’t know what we’d do.The episode began with the Godlewskis racing out of the Pitstop first. Their destination: Monument Valley, Utah. Whoohooo! More America! Okay, okay, I’ll drop it. No use complaining over what’s already done. Anyway, the Godlewskis hopped into a little boat where Chrissy yelled, “C’mon!!! DIG IN!!!”
“Chrissy, relax!” replied an annoyed Michelle. Oh, don’t be such a hater, Meeshy. Why can’t you “dig in” when you lower yourself one foot into the boat. C’MON! DO IT!!!
Of course, any avid viewer of this team would know that Michelle and her sisters — especially Sharon — love to treat poor Christine like a mangy dog hunting for table scraps. “Going into the race, I thought we were all going to be able to like talk and discuss and get to know each other more personally,” said a naive Chrissy. “Was I maybe fooling myself? Possibly.” Face it, Christine. You only did the race for the free backpack.
Anyway, let’s hear what the evil stepsisters have to say about Cinderella. “Chris just talks everyday,” complained Sharon.
“I think she has a quota of words that have to come out of her mouth. It’s just like SHUT UP!” bemoaned Michelle. Wow, a goofy chatterbox named Chrissy? Why, I never!
Well, the Linzes left the Pitstop second, but because they really didn’t have anything fascinating to say, we’ll just move onto team #3: God’s flavorite bunch of daffy devotees, the Weavers. Commence self-aggrandizing… NOW!
“The world we live in is obviously not loving and kind; so I think we’re just sticking out because we’re not as like crude,” explained eldest dimwit daughter Rebecca. So apparently throwing garbage at another team does not count as crude. (Maybe it’s more rude than crude.) Nevertheless, Linda reiterated her daughter’s point, saying, “It’s just so against our beliefs just to keep being treated so rudely.” I wonder, does anyone actually believe in being treated rudely? Well, as a family sensitive to the way they are received, I’m sure the Weavers will in turn act in a manner that represents their values and beliefs. The higher road, if you will. What’s that old Christian tenet? Love thy neighbor as thyself?
Next out the gate were the Bransens — the lovable, sweet, perky, yet boring Bransens. For this leg of the race, they informed us that they’d be more aggressive. Hmmm… for some reason, when I think of WalDER, “aggressive” isn’t the first word that jumps into my mind. He’s less Road Runner and more that dog that says “Oh Davey…”
Anyway, the top three teams eventually made their way to Monument Valley, and all three managed to zip right by the turn-off. Now, normally a U-Turn wouldn’t be that exciting, but for this leg of the race, the producers had attached giant campers to the SUVs, which meant the simple act of making a right turn took on a whole new level of chaos. But then again, if Paris Hilton could commandeer an Airstream trailer on The SImple Life 2, I’d like to think these families could handle their unwieldy campers. Nevertheless, the Weavers and Linzes turned their vehicles around with a minimal amount of drama (and praying to Jesus). The Godlewskis, on the other hand, had a good amount of difficulty, thanks to the fearless but inept leadership of Chrissy who managed to make our ears bleed all over again as she yelled, “Go SLOW! Crank it hard!! Okay, STAAAAAAPPPP!!!”
Well, this delay allowed for the Weavers to pass the Godlewskis, causing the Chrissy to yell, “OH! THEY’RE COMING, YOU GUYS!!!” Of course, mere text does not do justice to Chrissy’s nails-on-chalkboard voice, but let’s just say that three champagne glasses in the TVgasm offices simultaneously shattered. Meanwhile, as the Weavers passed by the opposition, Rolly sneered at Chrissy and derisively told him family, “See that little Desperate Housewife?” But seriously, they don’t believe in being rude.
Eventually, everyone arrived at the next cluebox which directed two members of each team to take a helicopter ride up to the top of a butte. However, only two teams could ride at a time, and therefore, families had to pick a number, first come first serve style. Well, even though they arrived second, the Linzes dawdled and wound up with the third number, which meant they’d have to wait for the Godlewskis and Weavers to go up and back. That’s okay. Nothing really important happened here anyway. The only significant thing to come out of this whole butte diversion was that the Godlewskis and Linzes reiterated that if there were a Yield ahead, whoever arrived first would use it on the Weavers.
Moving onwards and upwards, teams then had to race to Moab Utah and find Gemini Bridges, which were some more lovely rocky outcroppings. All these landscapes have been truly beautiful, but I have to say, this show is steadily turning into The Amazing Race: Canyon Edition. Nevertheless, the Weavers got to work backing their trailer out of the parking lot, and for a brief moment, a certain amount of dread befell me. After all, this was the Weavers we were talking about, a.k.a. the most unlucky family EVER when it comes to things with wheels (Carissa Gaghan excluded). Would the Weavers accidentally back into a tractor trailer? Or would they simply roll off into a canyon? Neither, actually. Jesus guided the family through the process, and the Weavers made it out of the parking lot alive and well.
As happy as the Weavers were to be on the road again, it was nothing compared to hyperactive Tommy Linz who began banging the side of the car and making unintelligible noises in excitement. “Bone, we’re gonna get you a helmet,” his brother said. I really don’t have anything funny to say about that. I just really like the Linzes.
Tommy “Bone” Linz
Later, on the open road, the Weaver family displayed some of that loving, tolerant, and optimistic charm that’s made all their fellow Christians proud, I’m sure. “I am not digging Utah right now,” Rebecca complained. She was echoed by sister Rachel who noted, “Whoever says the world is getting overpopulated should come to Utah.” And now Rolly for the hat trick: “It’s like hundred of thousands of miles of nothing at all. God must have spent a little less time on this state.” Yes, it’s the trifecta of obnoxious ignorance! Yay!
Now, to be fair, everyone’s entitled to not like a state, even make barbs about it. And honestly, had the Linzes said the exact same thing, chances are we wouldn’t be making a stink about it. But when a family puts itself on a moral pedestal and says that they just don’t know why people are treating them so rudely — with the implication being that they never would act rudely to anyone else — then they’re gonna get a whole lotta shit from a whole lotta people.
Luckily, the Weavers spent so much time bashing Utah that they forgot to step on the gas, and so the Linzes overtook the “Weaver-butts,” and in a flurry of Wizard of Oz references, ultimately wished a house would fall on top of Linda. Well, if the house has wheels, it’s a very distinct possibility. Meanwhile, our old friends the Bransens pondered what would be in store for them next in Moab. The girls were crossing their fingers for something risky or adventurous. As for Wally, he’d probably be happiest if the task involved controlling a model train set or something. “I could go for something tranquil and, uh, boring,” he said. Really?? I never would have thought that! Oh WalDER!
Over in the Godlewski caravan, Chrissy piped up and asked, “Isn’t it easier navigating in the U.S.?” Yeah, and that’s why this season SUCKS!
Anyway, the teams arrived at Gemini Bridges where they found the Detour: drop down or ride down. Basically, it was a choice between rappelling down a cliff or trekking for six miles with a dirt bike. The Linzes opted to rappel, and as young Tommy scaled down the cliff, Nick told us, “If we lose a teammate, it’s gonna be him. We’ll turn around and do the bikes.” He then let out his hearty, maniacal laugh, which has become a welcome tradition in recent episodes of the race. The Linzes are the bestest.
Meanwhile, as the Weavers approached the Detour, we paused briefly to get a quick geography lesson. “I haven’t even heard one thing about Utah,” said an educationally impaired Rachel.
“I have. Mormons live here,” Linda pointed out, as if it were some big crazy secret.
“For real?” asked an incredulous Rachel.
“Utah is the Mormon state,” Linda reiterated.
“No wonder!” Rachel said. You learn something new every day! Or, well, I guess if you’re the Weavers, it’s more like every month. Two months maybe. Well, the fam arrived and opted to go biking, which meant a whole new set of whining complaints. “I don’t think Lance Armstrong could make it through this,” moaned one of the daughters. Yes, I’m sure Lance Armstrong could never tackle those six semi-rugged miles of flat terrain. I mean, he’s not a robot!
Arriving third at the Detour were the Bransens, and even though Wally wanted to go biking, his daughters were chomping at the bit for some hardcore rappelling action. “I have a fear of heights,” he explained, “but they really want the experience, and I want them to have the experience.” Awww. WalDER! Such a good dad.
The Linzes finished the task first and were told to hit up the Green River State Park for the night. The departure time the next morning would depend on the order they’d arrive. Meanwhile, down in the base of Gemini Bridges, the Weavers languished on their bicycles. “I HATE UTAH! I hate it with a passion!” screamed Rebecca. After all, it is the state’s fault that she can’t ride a bike.
“If anyone says ‘I’m from Utah,’ I’m gonna say, ‘I’m sooo sorry,’” Rachel added. Why, that’s not rude at all! In similar news, when I meet someone who’s a Weaver relative, I too will say “I’m sooo sorry.”
Showing up at the Detour last were the Godlewskis, and hey, weren’t they in second place? How did that happen? Suddenly we heard the booming, disembodied voice of Phil as he gravely announced, “Due to a production error involving the camera equipment, the Godlewski’s car battery was drained. A replacement vehicle was provided, but they have fallen into last place.” Way to go, CAMERA! Nevertheless, the Godlewskis attacked the Detour with sheer, ear-piercing determination, which meant we got to see Christine Godlewski fall on her ass as she attempted to rappel down the cliff. Oh wait! This is the moment that CBS has promo’d all week! What will happen? Will this be the end of the Godlewskis?
Oh my Gaaadlewski!
Actually no. Sharon said some disparaging things about her sister and then the family completed the task without incident. Oh. You know, if there’s anything I’ve learned, almost every single Amazing Race commercial hypes up a big nothing. I think the only exception to the rule was when a) Greg and Brian’s jeep flipped over last season, and b) when the metal gate bonked Freddy on the head in season 6. God, that was amazing.
Later that night, while the Linzes played paddle ball outside their camper, the Weavers huddled inside and complained about how no one speaks to them. “We’re not gonna be rude,” Rachel reiterated, adding, “We’re just gonna keep saying disparaging things about other people and place and then victimize ourselves by blaming external factors, like the state of Utah.”
The next morning, the Linzes headed out of the park first and learned they’d have to go to Heber city and find “Bart.” Turns out Bart was a bear. That’s right, it was none other than the famous Bart the Bear — who I believe was the star of the film, uh, The Bear. Actually, scratch that. I just checked Bart’s IMDb page (yes, a bear has an IMDb page), and Bart was not only the star of The Bear, but also Legends of the Fall and The Edge. Sadly though, he died five years ago. Sorry Bart! Turns out this Bart that we now saw adorably toting a yellow clue in his mouth was actually Bart 2.0, whose film career has included the significantly less venerable Without a Paddle and Dr. Doolittle 2. You know, just change the bear’s name. No need to sully Bart The First’s rep with these crappy flicks. If you’re gonna replace Bart, just go drastically different. It’s like bringing in Cindy Snow when what you really need is Terri Alden. Sorry, I’m still on my Three’s Company kick.
Anyway, I just spent far too much time seeking out those screenshots, so I’ll just move on. As the Linzes drove up to Heber City, they passed by a wondrous waterfall, causing all the siblings to stare in awe. As for the Weavers, well, let’s just say their appreciation for all of God’s creations seems to be limited strictly to hot pants. “That’s so ugly,” Rolly said, pointing at the landscape. “Looks like a little pimple in the mountains.” You’re a little pimple in the mountains! Hmm, I gotta work on my comebacks.
As teams approached Bart, we learned that they wouldn’t be able to run or yell on the property. I guess that means they’ll have to bind and gag Chrissy, lest she become the unfortunate victim of an ursine attack. Meanwhile, the Linzes managed to get lost, so they pulled over to ask directions from a lady, but as it turns out, “That’s a dude.” Well, they got back on track, met Bart, and then learned they’d be heading to Olympic Park in Park City. Oh, and one more thing: CAUTION! YIELD AHEAD!! Now, the whole episode, the producers had been really playing up the fact that the Linzes were prone to making stupid mistakes. With the Weavers right on their asses, would they be able to reach the Yield first? Or would some dumb snafu ruin the whole thing? For the first time in ages, this show suddenly became truly exciting. If the Weavers didn’t get Yielded, I didn’t know what I would do.
Speaking of the Weavers, they passed the Linzes on the road and in a HILARious move, all the girls ducked. You know, so the Linzes couldn’t see them. Because that would be super funny! So take THAT, Linzes! That’ll teach you not to… look over at their car… and, um, expect to see people in the back seat. YEAH! Actually, in the cruelest of ironies, the Linz family didn’t even notice. Like oh my god! The best gag was totally wasted! Thanks, JESUS!
Moments later, the Weavers arrived at the Bart house, and even though teams were not supposed to run or yell, that didn’t stop dumb Rebecca from honking her horn in the driveway. Luckily, Bart was having the best time ever carrying around that stupid clue; so he hardly seemed fazed by the blaring horn. That’s okay though. Even if he had attacked the Weavers, we knew the only way he could have done damage would have been if he were somehow turned into a bear-car.
After receiving their clue, the Weavers then set off to Park City, but unlike the Linzes, they opted to take route 92 instead of 40. According to Rachel, it was a more direct route. Unfortunately, the Weavers didn’t seem to notice that the sign for 92 featured that quaint “Scenic Route” graphic, and before long, they were trapped on a long and winding road. That didn’t stop Rolly though from yelling at a random biker, “You wish you were Lance Armstrong!” Yes, like Rebecca said, they won’t be rude.
The good news was that the Weavers were screwed. The bad news was that the excitement was therefore dampened as the Linzes easily arrived at the Yield first. Sure enough, the Cincinnati wonderboys (featuring super sister Megan) Yielded the Weavers, and then it was time for the big Roadblock. Basically, someone on the team had to do a ski jump. Cool. Sort of. Hey, remember when Roadblocks used to require some basic level of skill? It’s really not as thrilling when a teammate just has to get up and do something, like ride in a centrifuge or a jet plane.
For the ladies…
Well, this was a pretty easy Roadblock, but that didn’t stop Nick Linz from making a fool of himself as he tried to do a fancy flip off the jump, only to belly flop into the water. Afterwards, his team received the next clue, which was to find the Pit Stop atop a library in Salt Lake City.
Meanwhile, the Bransens showed up next, and as cutie Lindsay perched atop the ski jump, one of the ski jumpers yelled out, “If you live, let’s go out!” Funny, I always use that line, and it never works!
Anyway, Lindsay did just fine and was followed by Chrissy Godlewski, who managed to go splat in the water. But as usual, her perky gung-ho attitude overpowered any burn her entire body may have been feeling. “Let’s hope it’s elimination,” one of the Godlewski sisters said as they headed off safely in third place. Of course, by virtue of her saying that, we all knew it most definitely would not be elimination. I mean, the producers only show an obvious last place team if there’s going to be a non-elimination round. Unless… maybe that’s what they want us to think! And maybe it will be elimination after all. But then again, if the final episode (which I imagine is two hours) airs on December 13th, there’s no way the producers are going to stretch out the final three teams over essentially four more episodes. Blast!
Of course, the Weavers didn’t have the benefit of a TVguide to help them deduce that they’d be safe; so instead they resorted to their old standby strategy: complaining. “This is so stupid… this is such a waste of time,” they moaned. You know, there are a lot of families that would have loved to have gone on this show, so enough with the defeatist attitude. SHUT UP!
And as if on cue, here came the martyrdom: “We’re already the last nice family, and then we’re gone,” said Rachel. And proving just how nice her family was, she then added, “The people who win will probably spend it on a new nose and bigger boobs.” Well, if the Weavers win, I just hope they put a portion of their winnings towards getting mom a decent haircut.
Eventually, Linda finally stepped up and told her kids to just relax and enjoy themselves, and later, after having procured ice cream and various value meals from McDonalds, everyone seemed to be in chipper moods (except McDonalds which probably wasn’t so thrilled to have this family be their new unintentional mascots). At the route marker, the Weavers discovered they’d been Yielded, causing Linda to snip, “Those idiots!” It wasn’t clear if she was referring to the other teams or just the nifty Weaver family portrait on the Yield sign. Probably the former though.
With nothing else to do, the clan sat down to nosh on their fast food, at which point Linda remarked, “I don’t get it. Most people like us. I’ve never been in a situation where we’ve been unliked [sic., of course] in my life!” Well, congratulations Linda. Now you know what it feels like to be “unliked”… by ALL OF AMERICA!
Over at the Pit Stop, the Linzes arrived first and were greeted not only by Phil, but by the one and only Miss Latin Utah. “Miss Latin Utah! Even better!” said one of the Linz boys, thus proving once again that Everybody Loves A Spicy Latina!
Well, Phil told the Linz family that they were team number one. He then slapped on his comedian hat and said, “No prizes. JUST KIDDING!” Oh, that Phil! Such a pistol! But he wasn’t done! After describing the trip the kids had won, Phil joked, “in addition to that Tommy, we’ve got a beautiful woman here for you.” Whoa. Did he just pimp out Miss Latin Utah? Maybe we should give him an all green suit with a little hat. PimpPhil!
Anyway, the Bransens showed up second and were followed by the Godlewskis, and of course, bringing up the rear were the Weavers who arrived in full whiny splendor. “I just want to be eliminated,” said one. “I do too,” said another. “I really do too,” said a third. Listen guys, we could not agree more.
Unsurprisingly, Phil announced that this was a non-elimination leg, causing the Weavers to celebrate with a blasé “Yay.” Sounds like it’s time for PimpPhil to go back to his PhilSchtick: “That is the most unenthusiastic reaction to a non-elimination in the history of The Amazing Race,” he joked. To be fair, Phil was really hoping for a top hat and can rat-a-tat-tat tap dance routine.
Well, it didn’t take long for the Weavers to move into victimization mode. “Nobody likes us anymore, Phil,” Rolly said. This was followed by Linda who commented, “We love the race, but I don’t know if I’m up for the personal stuff.” Oh, poor, delicate Linda. When those cruel barbarians attack her with mild insults (which are often the reaction to various Weaver insults and attacks), she just can’t go on! She just trying to lead an upright Christian life!
Not to fear, though. Dr. Phil gave them a pep talk, and as the hour came to a close, the Weavers had renewed strength and vigor. They could go all the way, they predicted. Lord help us all.
What did you think about this episode? And more importantly, what do you think about the Weavers?