Sunday, February 20, 2011

Amazing Race Recap: "Second Chances Don't Come Free"

A new season of the Amazing Race is off and running, and as many of you know by now (and as was first reported here back in December), this season is sub-titled Unfinished Business, with 11 teams returning for another shot at the million dollars. I’ll reiterate my initial response to the Cast List: why are we seeing only teams from Season 12 onward? Nobody from the first 11 seasons warranted an invite?

To the returning readers, Welcome back! It’s nice to see you again. And for those of you new to my blog and my Amazing Race Recaps, a hearty welcome as well, and a couple of things you should know: a) the recaps should be up within 30 minutes (often less) of when the show ends on the East Coast, b) the pictures will all have hidden captions underneath, so make sure to mouse over them if you want to see them, and c) I love Comments, so let’s all get involved in the Comments section for this season.

And with a raise of my very own eyebrow--since Phil didn't do it--we’re off!

My Random Thoughts:

- I liked Kynt and Vyxsin in their first season, but it was way over-the-top on how often they reminded us that they were “Goths” and what the Goth lifestyle was like. I’m implementing a season-long “Goth” count that we will revisit every week, similar to last season’s “C’Mon Claire!” count, or the previous season’s “Bro” and “Oh My Gravy.” Damn, I just realized I’ll have to do an “Oh My Gravy” count this season, too…I may need a chart. Make your predictions in the Comments section, what will we hear more of this season: Goth or Oh My Gravy? We’ll keep track for the season. Keep in mind that the Goth count will only be valid if Kynt and Vyxsin say it.

- In the opening montage where we saw all the teams riding up the hill with the wind farm in the background, we were treated to the backstory on everyone and their demise in each of their respective seasons. A basic recap, but two things stood out to me: 1) That Zev and Justin wearing Harlem Globetrotters T-shirts was a nice touch, and 2) that when Kisha and Jen were eliminated in Beijing dressed as geishas, I didn’t realize just how much Kisha looked like 90’s pro wrestler Papa Shango.

- I absolutely loved the new way of opening the race. Instead of racing to the airport to try and find flights, the teams had to first complete a task for Phil, and the first ones to finish were awarded seats on the premium flight. Additionally, the last team to complete would get an automatic U-Turn on the first Detour, and from the recap footage that reminded us how annoyed Amanda and Kris were over being U-Turned in their season, it was painfully obvious that they would be the ones in last place.

As a side note, the premium flight became the last-place flight after a medical emergency caused the flight to make an unscheduled landing. I'm shocked that in 18 seasons, this is the first time we've seen this.

- This is the first season of The Amazing Race in HD, and they sure gave us a good showcase of it in this episode, didn't they? Beaches, sailing, and sharks and was a great visual episode. I really liked the Shark Tank task, and it reminded me of Mandalay Bay and how much I miss Las Vegas. (soon...very soon.)

- Between the constant shots of signs that said "Manly Ferry" and the use of the phrase "firing of the seaman’s gun", this season may have already used their full quotient of innuendo. And did every shot of the "Manly Ferry" signs need to be followed by a shot of Mel, Mike, or Kynt? (seriously, go back and look) Very unnecessary and low-brow.

- Jet (or Cord, I don't remember which one) declared “I’m from Oklahoma. I don't do water. I don't even take baths.” That sound you heard was the collective screams of the employees of the Tourism Board of Oklahoma.

- The Margie & Luke / Jaime & Cara alliance decided that their best way to solve the flag task was to hang out by the commodore and try to listen in to what the other teams say. First of all (and I'm not trying to make fun of Luke here...I'll do that enough this season), is this the best strategy for a team with a deaf contestant? And second, how awesome was it that the Globetrotters whispered their answer so they couldn't hear?

- As the teams checed in with Outback Phil & a random surf dude, they were told to keep racing. Nobody seemed overly surprised except Mallory, who Phil essentially had to kick off the mat to tell her to get moving.

- A lot of what we saw tonight was essentially "Same shit, different season": Jaime yelled at Cara (and her sailing partners who righted the boat after it flipped), Luke acted like a petulant infant, Ron was exhausted, and Mallory prayed for anything and everything. Seriously, she prayed for help before even receiving the first clue, and at the flag task, asked "Jesus, help me." Discussion topic: Was Gary and Mallory's first-place finish due to divine intervention from above, or simply Mallory's ability to solve a cryptogram?

- I’m putting my support behind two teams this season, The Goths and the Globetrotters, which is probably the name of some horrible B-Movie sitting on a discount rack for 99 cents in some mom-and-pop video store.

- I really enjoyed the Season Premiere, but it can’t compare with last season’s starting episode because no one took a watermelon to the face from a catapult. That is still the stuff that legends are made of. (Here’s a link if you need to see it again.)

Next Week: The First Leg Continues.

Amazing Race fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of my recaps (and other Random Thoughts) as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined. Also, if you’re a Survivor fan, be sure to check back on Wednesday nights for weekly recaps on Survivor: Redemption Island.

Related Posts:
Darren Franich's Amazing Race Recap
Spoiler TV Recap


Emily T. said...

I'm still not sure how Luke & Margie got back in. I mean, this seems to have been billed as the favorite teams (or at least I've seen that said/written in several places), and no one can stand them! Or rather... no one can stand Luke. You said it best! He acts like a child. I think he gives a bad name to deaf, gay people every where. I've hung out with him on several occasions, and now avoid him like the plague when I see him out. At first he seemed nice in real life, but my word he's just a spoiled brat.

I'm really curious as to why they picked only from recent seasons to have teams return to this season. I really loved a lot of the teams from the first 12 seasons, and would have liked to seen some of them on.

Mary said...

Well I am not in your boat of the anti-Luke movement. Personally, I get him. I understand him. Growing up with deaf parents...I get it. Understanding the deaf culture is not easy but I've dealt with it my whole life. I'll also say that not everyone in the deaf community is the same way as Luke...but I will say that he is not nearly as needy or demanding as many that I have personally met. It takes courage to do what he's doing and he gets a little bit of respect from me for doing it...despite him being a "brat"...

Taffy said...

Let's just hope you have a chance to collect a couple of 'bro's' and a few 'oh my gravy's.' The cowboys were not looking good. It would be a shame to lose them early in the race.

Anonymous said...

TAR: UB Drinking Game

Whenever the Globetrotters say "baby", take a shot. Although doing so will probably result in your death by the first commercial break.

Jeff W. said...

I'm voting for the "goth" count because the cowboys don't appear long for this season. And if the Goths and the Globetrotters end up on Gilligan's Island at some point during this season, my life will be complete.

Sherilyn -The Dominee Huisvrouw said...

I'm thinking the 'goth' count will be higher as well. I think the cowboys may have traded "Oh my gravy" for 'gracias' this season (which sure sounded dumb when they said it over & over in AUSTRALIA!)

Sean said...

Let's make something clear, I give Luke a hard time because Luke acts like a brat. And Margie enables it. It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that he's deaf, or gay, or any other reason. Let's be fair and not make blanket statements about the deaf community or any other community, for that matter.

I love the Globetrotters drinking game idea. Maybe I'll just use water to protect my liver, but then the constant trips to the bathroom would cause me to miss the last half of the show.

Jeff W., you made me laugh out loud. I'm so upset I didn't think of the Gilligan's Island joke! Nice one!

Sherilyn, yes, I caught the 'gracias', but they did that in their other season as well, so I shook it off. I'm just glad they're not Charla and Mirna-ing fake accents.

Cheri said...

Sean.. Thanks for the recap and your blog. I really like the Cowboys but after last night, one of them needs to grow a brain cell!

Anonymous said...

I definitely vote for the Goths or the Cowboys (for those fearing they will go out first, I just KNOW it won't happen). But seriously...what's with this "dating" Goths farce? Was it only me...but...didn't Kynt (or as he's now known - Kent) slap the surfer dude on the ass as he ran by him after they checked in with Phil?? I agree with you that Charla and Myrna would have been a nice touch. Bring back the MIDGET! In answer to your question as to why only recent losers were brought back - it's simply the Producers cashing in on the "freshest" 15 minutes of fame chips that they have. They're smart enought to know that they can get the most viewers interest on teams that are still in the viewing public's memory. In this case Amazing Race Season 15 or lower, need not apply. But I do think the midgets should have been exempt from that restriction. Great review Sean - looking to reviewing the season each week on your blog!

Roxanna said...

Maybe you should add "Son of a Buck" - that seems to be a new Cowboy phrase this year.

I'm from Texas and I tend to say gracias a lot too...just happens.