Am I sounding like a broken record because last night’s episode of The Amazing Race was awesome! I really didn’t think it was going to be as exciting as it was, and yet those pesky producers and editors know just how to get our hearts beating, even if we already have a nagging sense of how everything will play out. Yes, there were laughter and tears in this week’s show, and to top it all off, we had an eating challenge that managed to bring out more wonderful gems from Kimberob, or as I’m temporarily calling them, Kimberwretch. Most exciting of all, however, was the introduction of a new twist: the intersection. How did it work? And how did it play out? Well, you’ll just have to read the recap to find out…Like I mentioned in the Survivor recap, I’m trying to keep my recaps shorter so that they’ll be done sooner, and I’ll be able to cover more material. If I don’t do this, there’s a high probability that I might be shot. Anyway, this week’s show began with the teams heading off to scenic Madagascar where they’d have to search for a local statue/landmark named the Black Angel, which was just recently painted, um, white. That statue has so jumped the shark.
Anyway, first to leave were the Beauty Queens, who last week smashed up their car when they overlooked the benefits of using their brakes. Well, who wants a Nissan with a janky fender when you can have one with a perfectly unblemished facade? NO ONE. Therefore, Dustin and Kandice happily took another car instead, a move that would surely lead to further acrimony amongst the other teams, most notably the single moms. I gotta say, though. I still don’t hate the Beauty Queens!
Next out of the gate were those milquetoast junkie models, who were just brimming with cocky self-assurance as usual. Tyler mentioned that “there are certain times when James is more passive in our relationship and our team.” You know, like ALL THE TIME. Tyler then added, “Sometimes when we smoked crack, James was more like puff-pass instead of puff-puff pass.” Okay, he didn’t say that, but I will say that when we cut to James’ boring response, it was clear that he seemed to have aged about ten years overnight. Looks like somebody found the sole opium den of Mauritius!
Rob and Kimberly emerged next, and they annoyingly spoke to us mid-embrace. That’s right, in an attempt to show that they really did love each other underneath all the petty bickering, Rob huddled against Kimberly from behind, almost as if they were seat-humping. This was then followed by “Babe, you’re sitting on my thigh! BABE!” “I’m not! STOP YELLING AT ME!!!” “I WOULDN’T YELL AT YOU IF YOU DIDN’T SIT ON MY THIGH! IT HURTS, BABE!!!!”
Nevertheless, as Kimberob headed off to the airport, the models once again emphasized their semi-alliance with them. “Rob and Kimberly, we’ve kind of gelled from the beginning,” James said, adding, “You know, we’re all incredibly vapid. It’s really a bonding point.”
Next out of the gate were the Cho brothers, and of course, they decided to wait around for their alliance to show up. C’mon guys. It’s nice and everything, but it’s time to start running your own race. Soon all of the six-pack was on the road, and Mary couldn’t help but be excited about their next destination. “All I know about the cartoon Madagascar, all the animals there. Oh, I cannot WAIT to go!” she gushed. Bad news, Mary. I’m pretty sure there aren’t any talking animals in the real Madagascar.
Just like the movie!
Well, there was plenty of griping and complaining about the Beauty Queens leaving their busted-up car for someone else, but it didn’t really amount to anything, especially since everyone wound up on the same flight to Madagascar at 11 AM. This led to an incredibly weak airplane diagram, but while the animation wasn’t terribly exciting, at least the flight wound up being a doozy for David, who when sitting down told his wife, “I ain’t never sit in a window yet. My turn!” Looks like he can cross that one off his list!
Use a blender
Finish Brothers Karamazov
Sit next to a window on a plane
Anyway, once everyone arrived in Madagascar, the search was on for the Black Angel, “which is me, so I don’t know why we’re looking for it ’cause I’m right here!” Karlyn joked, earning a solid “Wah wah waaaah” from me. Well, the teams all drove around, and while the junkie models dreamed of eliminating Team Kentucky from the race, Rob and Kimberly mused on the anthropological effects of exhaust fumes and local diet in Madagascar.
“Breathing in exhaust is really bad for you,” Kimberly observed, trailing off with, “So how do these people…”
“They die a lot younger than we do. That’s what happens,” replied Dr. Rob McIdiot, Professor of Fume-ilogical Sciences. He then went on to reveal, “Most of them don’t get enough protein; so their brains don’t develop as much. Brain needs protein.” Well, that clears up EVERYTHING! Thank goodness for Rob! A brain like his has surely benefited from a protein-rich diet!
Well, in typical six-pack form, they squandered whatever lead they had as they all drove right past the Black Angel (they were thrown off by the whole white paint thing). While they headed off to who knows where, the anti-six-pack all arrived, tension in tow. “Why is my stomach so nervous this time?” Kimberly asked. IT’S THE FUMES!!! YOU NEED MORE PROTEIN, DAMMIT!!!
First to get out of their car were the junkie models, and James was ever so kind to SLAM the door in Tyler’s face. He then yelled, “Who’s passive now, BITCH?!?” Anyway, the two bounded towards the next clue, and even though the word “Intersection” was clearly labeled on the box, that didn’t stop the models from proclaiming that they had reached a Yield (where were the Yields this season anyway?). Anyway, the Intersection was a nifty new addition to the Amazing Race, and while I’d be tempted to say it was a mild rip-off of some Treasure Hunters tasks, the truth was that this season was probably filmed and/or planned out before that lesser show aired. Nevertheless, the Intersection required two teams to perform all tasks and make all decisions together until further notice. Nice. I approved. (Without getting too far ahead of myself, however, I will say that tonight’s Intersection tasks didn’t totally take advantage of this twist to its fullest extent, but it was a good start).
Well, no surprise here. The junkie models and Kimberob immediately joined forces, creating a veritable Voltron of Idiocy. Once they had officially linked, they opened their clue to discover the Fast Forward option (which had to be performed together). Sure enough, this group of nitwits decided they would go for it, which seemed to spell nothing but disaster for David and Mary, who were already marked for elimination (that meant that they would incur a thirty-minute penalty unless they checked in first place). So what was the big Fast Forward? My favorite thing: a food challenge! The teams had to travel to a market, find a marked stall, and eat a local delicacy: cow lips! Yummy!
As the foursome trekked off, the Beauty Queens (who had arrived just moments afterwards) had to wait around for other teams to arrive. They knew no one would want to work with them, but someone would have to take the plunge. Sure enough, when the Six-Pack all arrived, the girls linked up with the Cho brothers, leaving Kentucky and Alabama to form the last grouping. After some hemming and hawing, the groups all forewent the Fast Forward, opting instead to do the Detour, which was a choice between “Long Sleep” or “Short Letter.”
In Long Sleep, teams had to choose eight foam mattresses, wrap them in covers, and deliver them on foot one mile to a specific address. In Short Letter, teams had to use local methods to produce and decorate hand crafted paper. Both teams opted for the mattresses, and as the BeautyChos zipped off, one of the girls joked, “You are Asians! We could’ve made paper!” To which the brothers replied with a terse, “Just go.”
Over at the Fast Forward, the Quartet of Morons arrived, and immediately, a warm joy spread through my body as I realized how much whining we were soon to witness from Rob. Yeah, it’s annoying, but dammit if it’s not the funniest thing ever. He looked like the other half of his hair was gonna turn gray when he saw the giant serving of cow lips presented to him. But seriously, these Madagascans don’t get nearly enough protein. After all, they only eat every single inch of the cow.
Back at the Detour, Kentucky struggled to fit a cover on a mattress, but luckily Mary had just the right sort of motivation for them: “C’mon! Like a little girl’s pantyhose!” Why do I feel like Chris Hansen is gonna bust down my door now?
Watching the mattress antics was fun, but nothing compared to the silliness at the Fast Forward where a whole lot of “dude” and “bro” and gagging was going down. At one point, Tyler had a genius idea of how to speed along the process: “Okay, everybody. Keep your vision on all four of us.” WELL! That’ll fix everything! I guess his thinking was that if they stared at some of the gruesome sights of the market (like those small-brained, low-protein’d locals) they might throw up. I personally didn’t know how viewing Rob’s face was to keep anyone from not barfing, but hey, to each his own. If only those junkie models had some pot to inhibit their gag reflexes…
“Sometimes, even I can’t stand the stench of my dreaminess.”
Over at the Detour, the Cho Brothers and the Beauty Queens were all doing a fine job, but Kentucky and Alabama were kind of worthless. First they couldn’t put their covers on, then they didn’t know what to do with their bags, and then they came up with this scheme to bind all the mattresses together by strapping fanny packs around them. Seemed like a decent idea at first, but all it did was create a cumbersome tower of mattresses that they then struggled to carry through the streets. “We almost looked like the Macy’s Day Parade,” Lyn/Lyn said. Yes, it was just like the Macy’s Day Parade… assuming all the balloons had been replaced with dingy old MATTRESSES.
Dustin will beat anyone’s advertised price, or your mattress is FREEEEE!!!
Back in Fast Forward land, the guys marveled at James’s decidedly un-passive chewing abilities. “Dude, you’re chewing yours, dude!” Tyler exclaimed. “He’s crazy, dude!” Rob added. HOLY SHIT!!! He knows how to chew food!!! THAT’S INSANE!!! What’s next? Will he dazzle us with his water-sipping abilities???
Meanwhile, the Chos and the Beauty Queens faced a major problem: their local who was guiding them to the proper address had disappeared! And he had their info! What to do???
We then went to commercial, and when we returned, we were back at the Fast Forward where everyone continued to treat James as if he were a God in the flesh. “Dude, you’re an all-star, dude!” Rob told him, clearly dying to be his best bud ever. There was optimism back at the Detour too as Mary happily interacted with the local children. “It’s a hard job,” she said, regarding the mattresses, “but the kids make it fun.” She then invited the children to all “Push me!! Push me!!!” but even they seemed reticent to seize this opportunity. Up ahead of them, Win/Win and the the girls unsurprisingly managed to persevere through the Detour without their local. They finished the task, which meant they were now emancipated from the harsh bonds of the Intersection. Freshly independent, the teams now had to make their way to place called, ahem, “Tohotohohobato Ambondrona Analakely.” (I would love to see the “porn” names that come from that street. If I lived there, I’d be Zach Tohotohohobato Ambondrona Analakely, which you gotta admit is pretty sexy). (And yes, my first pet — a hamster — had the ordinary name of Zach.)
As the Chos and Beauty Queens headed onwards and as the Kentuckybama alliance continued to struggle with the mattresses, we then went back to the Fast Forward where the foursome of fetidness were STILL working on their cow lips. Seriously, people. Just get on with it. I had a sneaking suspicion that the producers were stretching out ten minutes worth of footage to make it look like two hours, but then again, you never know… Either way, a repulsed Kimberly protested the food at one point, saying, “My stomach’s hurting.” Oh no! Too much protein! HER BRAIN WAS GONNA BLOW!!!
“The fumes… THE FUMES…”
Rob then chimed in with some banal comments about his relationship, saying, “This race is good for Kimberly and I. It’s a really good gauge for when to push your partner and when to ease up.” Yes, an excellent gauge… which you clearly haven’t figured out yet. Nevertheless, Kimberly’s stomach could take no more of the cow lips and so she bent over and yakked all over the floor. Yes, it was a bona fide Kimberwretch! This was later followed by Rob telling the group, “Guys, this is a bonding experience, I gotta tell ya.” This was swiftly punctuated with yet another Kimberwretch, which probably was an apt metaphor for this “bonding experience.”
We then checked in quickly on the Kentuckybama, but sure enough, still not a lot of progress on that front except that all the women seemed to be yelling at David. As for the other teams, the Cho’s taxi seemed to be lost and/or out of gas while the Queens moved along just fine, arriving at the next clue without a problem. They found this leg’s Roadblock which required teammates to search for four specific rubber stamps amidst a giant market. While one person performed the task, the other person would then proceed up to a nearby Cathedral, which happened to be this leg’s Pit Stop. Well, Dustin got to work finding the stamps while Kandice headed up to the Pit Stop where none other than Phil Keoghan was busy engaging in a traditional Madagascan dance. How randy!
Back at the Detour, Lyn/Lyn and David and Mary finally delivered their mattresses and while they looked for the bags they had left behind, the Chos meanwhile arrived at the Roadblock. Honestly, I couldn’t see any way that David and Mary could escape out of this predicament. They were tied for last place with the single-moms. That time penalty was gonna kill them…
Over at the Fast Forward, Rob and James both finished their plates with a minimum of whining. It’s funny how Rob becomes so much more manly when he’s in the presence of “cooler” guys. As the two waited for Tyler and Kimberly to eat up their cow lips, the foursome all calmed each other’s nerves by reasoning, “No team is going to finish a Detour AND a Roadblock ahead of us!”
“We’re gonna be so far ahead,” Rob surmised.
“Right now, they’re probably plowing some field, just sweatin’, hating life,” James predicted. Actually, at that moment, Dustin had just completed the Roadblock and was heading to the Pit Stop. Oh, and Kentucky and Alabama were about to arrive at the Roadblock! And Kimberly was throwing up again! Might this Fast Forward be a colossal backfire?? I couldn’t truly accept that it would be, but the cockiness of the teams led me to believe they would be facing a major comeuppance.
After the commercial break, we saw that Tyler was done with his plate of cow lips, which meant that the Pit Stop had to be near for the Fast Forwarders. Even Kimberly looked like she was about to swallow her last few bits of meat anyway. “Is my chick awesome or what?” Rob asked, clearly overlooking all those times he yelled “BABE!!!! SLOW DOWN!!!” at her.
“She’s a machine,” the models replied back. Actually, if she were a machine, she wouldn’t have been throwing up every five seconds and taking so damn long to eat glorified beef. Yeah, there were teeth and hair in the lips, but just spit it out! Elsewhere in the race, Godwin completed the Roadblock, and as he left, Lyn and Mary got to work finding stamps.
Sadly, Kimberob and the models completed the Fast Forward, which meant that unless there was some miracle, it would be doomsday for Kentucky. The producers tried to throw in some misdirection by showing Kimberob getting totally lost, but we knew they’d be checking in soon. As for Godwin, he managed to get into yet another cab that needed gas, something that set him back several vital minutes.
Meanwhile, Dustin finally arrived at the Pit Stop, which meant she and Kandice could finally check in. The two took first place (double-hugging Phil in the process), and while it didn’t seem like the Fast Forward kids would be eliminated this week, at least they wouldn’t have the satisfaction of being on top of the pack. Tyler and James wound up second, and while they seemed happy enough with that outcome, they probably assumed Kimberob had taken first. WRONG. Kimberly and Rob showed up third. When Phil announced their placement, their faces fells, and Kimberly balked, “OHHH. MAN!!!!” That’s right, bitch. You just ate all that nasty meat for NOTHING.
The Chos arrived fourth, with Godwin needlessly diving/sliding onto Phil’s mat. If only Godwin’s cab didn’t need gas. They could have beaten the Fast Forward guys and further shamed them.
“I believe an Asian has arrived at my feet.”
Back at the Roadblock, Mary finished up, seemingly way ahead of Lyn, but would it be enough time? She then hopped in a cab and drove up to the Pit Stop, taking time along the way to look at the village children and musing about her own. Tears ensued.
Well, Mary and David checked in with Phil, but as you know, they had to incur a thirty minute penalty. It all came down to Lyn. Was she indeed as far behind as she seemed? Hard to tell. Lyn managed to find all her stamps and get into a cab, but guess what? Her taxi had no gas! Seriously, what’s up with Madagascan cabbies? FILL UP YOUR TANKS!
Anyway, we cut back and forth between Lyn and Kentucky, but the lack of a countdown clock led us to believe that there still was a sizable chunk of time left on the clock. Sure enough, despite the taxi setbacks, Lyn soon arrived and checked in with Karlyn fifth. That meant that the ever lovable hillbillies from Kentucky were finally, sadly eliminated. Apparently, they still had twenty minutes left on their clock — just as we had suspected.
I gotta admit, I didn’t write down anything that these two said after their elimination because I was simply too drawn in to remember. The producers went right for America’s heartstrings as David and Mary talked about doing this all for their children and how they’d grown etc. Then Lyn and Karlyn started to cry and say they had made lifelong friends. And then Mary was crying. And everyone was crying. And I was praying that I wouldn’t start to cry because that would be embarrassing, but I kind of felt like I might get misty eyed. Oh, it was rough.
I do remember that Mary said she wanted her children to go out and see the world. She said something about how this wasn’t just a new chapter in her life, this was a new book. For some reason, I felt that was a poetic and meaningful way to express the experience. They, more so than most of the other teams, seemed like they really benefited from this show. Unlike Rob and Kimberly who just seem to bicker all along the way, David and Mary truly appreciated that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I don’t know if it’s too late or not, but CBS had better stick them in All-Stars.
What did you think about the show? Thoughts on the Intersection?