Hey, remember that time this season when Drew fell down? Or Shmirna fell down? Or Uchenna and Joyce drove somewhere? Or the teams all went to an airport?
If you don’t, or you just want to reminisce about the good ol’ first episodes of The Amazing Race All Stars, the first few minutes of this episode are perfect for you. For those of you who just need to get to the end of the episode to make sure the Team CrazyPants doesn’t win this thing, the first few minutes are a waste of time.
I’m in the second category, so let’s get to it – We’re in Guam and the BQ’s are the first to leave at 11:53am. Their clue tells them to travel 3,800 miles to Oahu, where they must make their way to an air hanger and sign up for one of three helicopter flights to the island of Lanai.
And here’s where it hits me that this season is basically over — the teams are returning to the US. For weeks, I have been holding out hope that they’d finally go somewhere really cool and exotic and adventurous where people speak only that African click language and no one has ever seen nipple rings before. But that dream is dead.
So let’s go the land of mai tais and tourists… Big sigh.
Eric and Dani leave at 12:55pm. As they drive, Eric tells us that there are a lot of flights that go to Hawaii from Guam so the BQ’s might already be on a flight. Um, did Eric spend his time in Guam memorizing flight schedules? And is the Hawaii-Gaum route really that popular? Are all the Guamians sitting around thinking “Ahoy! Hawaii’s beaches and tropical flavor are ever so different from life here in Guam. I must away!” (Fact: That’s how people in Guam talk. If you don’t believe me, ask Mirna.)
The BQ’s get to the airport and discover that there’s a Northwest flight that leaves at 3:50, lays over in Tokyo, and arrives in Honolulu at 7:40am. Their desire to book tickets on this flight confuses the ticketing agent.
Maybe she doesn’t know that Guam to Hawaii is a very popular flight.
Then they ask her “for privacy reasons” not to tell anyone that she sold tickets to two blondes. Naturally two blonde women with TV camera in their faces have very serious “privacy concerns.” They also have concerns about teeth whitening products and world peace.
Mirna and Shmirna are the last team to get their clue at 1:20pm. They rush off, trying to make up time. But Eric and Dani are already at the airport. With all those flights from Guam to Hawaii, chances are they’ll all be on different flights, right?
Yeah, except not so much. Eric and Dani learn that the 3:50 flight to Tokyo is sold out but before we can even say “Oh no! They are doomed! Doomed!”, we learn that they can take a 4:20 flight to Tokyo that will get them on the same connecting flight to Hawaii. Yawn.
Mirna and Shmirna get to the airport and buy tickets for the same flight. So much for needing to make up time…. Mirna asks the ticket agent if anyone else bought tickets for the flight they’re on. And somehow the ticket agent knows that “anyone else” means the two other teams, and tells her that they’re all on the same flight. Mirna then angrily demands their tickets, as if it’s the ticket agents fault that she’s in last place.
Also, if you’re two hours behind and in last place, shouldn’t she be thrilled that she’s on the same flight as the other teams?
Also, and more importantly, is Shmirna wearing a bathing suit? Or it just an ugly dress with leggings?
Then we get some exciting airport footage, because what would Amazing Race All Stars be without teams in airports?!
Both planes land in Tokyo. And Mirna immediately notices that there’s a United flight that lands in Hawaii 40 minutes before the flight that everyone is booked on. And as annoying as she is, good for her for actually looking. And also good for us, because this leads to my favorite moment: Mirna puts Shmirna on a luggage cart and pushes her through the airport.
It’s the funniest thing I’ve seen since Go-Go Gadget Shmirna Shoes!
They race off to the United counter and beg, beg, beg. Mirna tells the woman that she owes her life to the woman if they get on the flight. And they get on the flight. And does that mean that Mirna is now dead? And if she’s dead does that mean no more Mirna on Shmirna action?
The BQ’s and Eric and Dani have boarded the flight to Hawaii, and are very confused about the lack of CrazyPants. The BQ’s are a little worried, knowing that even Crazy People have been able to get better flights than them (and if they know that, don’t you think they should have also looked into other flights?). But the doors to their flight close, and there is still no Mirna and no Shmirna. Eric, Dani and the BQ’s actually walk the aisles of the plane, looking for them.
It was funny. Who else wanted this to happen: “Hey, look, it’s Shmirna! She was under the seat all the time!”
But it doesn’t happen, because CrazyPants is on a better flight, and then they’re landing in Hawaii. And then the second plane lands, and everyone rushes out. In the taxi on the way to the hangar, Kandace tells us how Mirna and Shmirna couldn’t have been on an earlier flight that got there before them.
Cut to: Mirna and Shmirna getting there before them.
The teams have to sign up for helicopter flights that leave ten minutes apart. And our order is: Team CrazyPants, Eric and Dani and then the BQ’s. They all board their choppers in the proper order, and it’s all kind of boring.
Mirna and Shmirna land first, pick a Jeep and drive off. As they make their way to the beach, Mirna notes: “Look at the cliffs, how they drop straight down.”… Well, that’s what makes them cliffs, Mirna. If they didn’t drop straight down, they’d just be land.
Managing to avoid the cliffs, Team CrazyPants finds the man in the native costume and discovers the Detour – a choice between “two adventurous island activities!” In Under, teams must swim into an underwater cave to find their clue, while in Over, they must paddle themselves while standing on a board to a buoy.
Team CrazyPants decides to do Over. Shmirna takes off her leggings, proving that not only is that thing a bathing suit, but also that she wore a bathing suit on an international flight. That seems muy uncomfortable. Mirna has some trouble staying upright on the board, but Shmirna gets through the task pretty easily. It’s kind of nice that there’s a physical task that Shmirna can do. Even if does involve us having to see her butt.
Mirna and Shmirna finish the task and get the next clue, which tells them to make their way to Shipwreck Beach, where they must trek one mile up the beach to find the clue. First thought: “So much for Team CrazyPants’s lead!” There is no way that Shmirna can keep ahead during a one-mile trek when they don’t even have an airport cart.
Eric and Dani decide to do Over, but when they notice that Mirna is having trouble, they switch to Under. Eric tells us how afraid he is of sharks, but then still manages to dive into the cave. Where he gets attacked by a shark! Irony alert! OK, not really, but that would have been exciting. All that actually happens is that they get their clue.
The BQ’s show up and decide to do Under. Dustin tells us how diving into the cave made her panicky, but I think she’s just nervous because her pants were coming off:
And who knew that thongs were the way that BQ’s go through the Race?
The BQ’s get their clue and drive off, and improbably manage to arrive at the beach just seconds behind Eric and Dani.
And this is where we get a foot race. Mirna runs, while yelling at Shmirna to run faster. And Mirna has a good point – Shmirna obviously isn’t going faster just to spite her. But surprisingly, the yelling doesn’t make Shmirna’s legs grow longer, so both Eric and Dani and the BQ’s pass Team CrazyPants.
The task: Paddle a kayak out to a shipwreck where they will retrieve a clue attached to a buoy (Two buoys in one episode! Oh buoy!). This actually turns out to be quite difficult, as the waves are rough and everyone has to paddle hard.
Eric and Dani power through, and Dani actually doesn’t whine too much, although I feel like she should have talked to someone about the Kayak Krotch Kamera installed in the kayak.
Mirna and Shmirna are having a tough time, which results in more yelling by Mirna, which makes Shmirna grow longer, more powerful arms to paddle with. And Dustin decides that they should get out of their kayak to “walk it”, then announcing that they “can’t walk” and getting back into the kayak. Hey, Dustin, let’s refer back to your Christian home schooling – only Jesus can walk on water.
Eric and Dani are the first to get the clue, which tells them to travel 2,300 miles to their final destination, San Francisco, where they must make their way to the Old Mint. The BQ’s get the clue next, and then finally Mirna and Shmirna.
In the car on the way to the airport, we finally get the big BQ fight that the Show has been promo-ing all week, and let me be the first to say “Overhyped.” Here’s how it began: “Dustin, out there on the water, you were not a good teammate.” Dustin tells her “You’re saying a lot of hurtful stuff right now.”
Basically, the “fight” is made up of both BQ’s saying things like: “I feel extreme frustration with this, and I feel that doesn’t help the team at all.” Which is not a fight, it’s a seminar on How to Communicate Your Feelings. Where’s the yelling? The insulting? The cat fight? Nowhere, that’s where, because after a few seconds more, they touch hands, make up and recommit themselves to the Race. Lame.
Eric and Dani are the first to get to the airport. They book a flight to Oakland that leaves at 11:55pm and gets in at 6:57. The BQs are right behind them and get on the same flight. Mirna and Shmirna arrive a little bit later. Shmirna tells the person at the ticket counter that “It’s a true emergency for me to get to Oakland.”
Maybe that isn’t the most horrible fib to tell, but remember when Team CrazyPants was walking the moral high ground, gloating about how squeaky clean they are? Well, I call foul on then claiming getting to Oakland is a “true emergency.” It’s not. It’s just something that you really want. Big difference. So shut up.
In the end, it doesn’t matter, and all three teams end up on the same flight. We get more airport action as the teams check in, sit on the flight and land. Everyone runs out and we get more Go Go Gadget Mirna Shoes.
The BQ’s get to the Mint first. And basically the challenge is a test of what teams are the biggest gossips and most able to reduce other teams to stereotypes. In the task, one team member must enter a vault and answer four questions, which will be used to create a four digit code. They must use that code to lock the clue inside. The second teammate then enters the vault and tries to guess the answers to create the code and open the vault. Oh, and after ten minutes, whether you guess or not, you get the clue.
And suddenly I feel like I’m on Survivor… They do challenges like this all the time, to try to stir things up amongst the tribes (“How do you feel now that you know everyone on your tribes hates you?”). But one of the things I like about the Race is that it’s about working together as a team to get through tough stuff, not about gossiping about other teams. That’s why I liked the flags challenge (the year that Eric came in second, incidentally) – it was about remembering the countries you visited. I also think the ten minute time limit is lame. But either way, this is the challenge… So….
Dustin goes first for the BQ’s and Eric for his team. Team CrazyPants Go Go Gadgets in, and Mirna goes for them. Dustin is pretty sure that she and Kandace see eye to eye on the other teams. And Eric says that this test is “based on communication. And since Danielle does talk so much, like about gossip and stuff”, he thinks they’ll do well. Mirna tells us: “Charla and I are strong mentally, so we will always find a way to defeat whatever odds are placed against us, because we know that that’s our strength.”
The questions ask the teams to guess who is the least trustworthy, who has the best sense of humor, who is the most overrated and who they want to stay in touch with. And then the teams switch out. There’s a lot of guessing and reguessing. And then finally Dani gets it right. She and Eric get their clue, which tells them to travel by taxi to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, which is the Pit Stop.
Kandace and Shmirna are still trying to guess the code. But neither can get it, and Kandace gets her clue when the ten minutes run out. And then a couple of minutes later, Charla gets her clue.
So now we’re in a taxi race. Team CrazyPants tells their driver that it’s a “life and death situation.” Right, just like the airline was a “true emergency”. Jerks. Mirna tells us that they’re going to use their superior brain power to win the Race. Then she tells the taxi driver that they didn’t know that they had hills in San Francisco. Irony alert!
There’s a lot of cutting back and forth between the teams, as they all beg their cab drivers to go faster, and to take short cuts. But that’s all tricky editing, because the first team to leave the Mint is the first team to arrive. That’s right – the winners of The Amazing Race All Stars are Eric and Danielle. They talk about how happy they are, and how unbelievable it is and how hard it was.
And then the BQ’s arrive and are really disappointed that they’re in second. And then Team CrazyPants checks in as Team #3. All in all, not a thrilling ending, but not really a surprising one either. Eric and Dani were good racers – they won despite being hours behind and being yielded twice. So I guess they deserve it, but their victory makes me feel incredibly indifferent.
Mirna tells us how proud she is “for everything we did together on this race, and we played it with every ounce on energy that we had… It was great to break all stereotypes, not just about physical abilities, but also about what people thought of us. And I really felt like so many people got to know the real Charla and Mirna.” Yup, I sure did….
And Kandace tells us: “My grandmother always told me reach for the moon and at the very least you’ll hit the stars.” Which doesn’t make any sense at all, because the stars are way farther than the moon, but she’s a beauty queen, not an astronomer, so what do we expect?
Then Phil tells Eric and Dani that they can call their families. But instead, they get a phone call from Jeremy.
And, first of all, Jeremy looks terrible, and I feel like that neon shirt is a throw back to 80′s “Frankie Says Relax” t-shirts, and what happened to his hair? And why does he tell Eric he’s going to spank him? And anyone who thinks that being on a reality show will make you famous and successful, well, just think about Jeremy…
But in the end, we’re back to Eric and Dani. And Eric tells us that after the race he and Dani “appreciate each other more. And I see things progressing.” In other news, they’ve already broken up.
And that’s it for the Amazing Race All Stars. I feel a little empty in my heart, now that it’s over. I definitely am still disappointed about the locations and the difficulty of the challenges, but that doesn’t make me love the show any less. Hope to see you right back here again next season!!