Monday, September 26, 2011

Amazing Race Recap: “I’m Going Nowhere Because You Have No Passport”

The Amazing Race returned last night, one week after picking up its eighth Emmy Award for Best Reality Competition, as 11 new teams set off from Los Angeles on a race around the world. Sorry for the delay in getting this recap up, but I was out of the country, and unable to watch the show until Monday. Rest assured that the weekly recaps this season will be posted at the usual time.

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.

As I normally do with the Season Premiere, tonight’s recap is going to be my first impressions of this season’s teams, along with my Random Thoughts at the end.

The Teams:

Andy and Tommy, The Snowboarders – These guys are so laid back, they decide who does Road Blocks with Rock, Paper, Scissors, and scared a shirtless Taiwanese man by accosting him since he appeared to be wearing “Race Boxers.” Repeated use of “gnarly”, “brother”, and “bud” reinforces stereotypical perception. One of them is wearing what I believe must be the first flat-brimmed ball cap in TAR history.
Ethan and Jenna, The Former Survivor Winners – We all know who they are, and the fact that they’re not telling anyone they were on Survivor and they expect that to work is laughable. My odds-on pick to win the Race.

Laurence and Zac, The Father and Son Sailors – Didn’t get to see much of them yet, no real opinion yet.

Ernie and Cindy, The Recently Engaged Couple – Apparently, they like to dance in public parks and tickle each other while running. Oh yeah…and she’s a control freak.

Justin and Jennifer, The Southern Siblings – Type A sister and inferiority complex brother, who like to fish and rock climb.

Bill and Cathi, The Oldsters – Retired educators from Oregon who enjoy doing chin-ups together, and completely disregard safety when riding a tractor. Did you see that in their intro video? What the hell was Cathi doing, just riding along the side of the tractor…was that the farm equivalent of letting someone ride on the handlebars of your bike?

Liz and Marie, The Twin Sisters – Not a lot to go on yet, but one of them is really bad at repeating things.

Jeremy and Sandy, The Dating Couple– A dating couple who appear to just act like idiots on a golf course…driving the golf cart too fast with arms and legs hanging out, taking perfectly timed bunker shots in unison, and then dancing…and showing that they’re on the golf course in bare feet (her) and flip-flips (him). That wasn’t staged at all. Jeremy says that running the Race with Sandy is like “taking the car into the shop and seeing if you want to buy the car.” Um…Jeremy, if you’re taking the car to the shop, you already OWN THE CAR. And if not, you have some serious explaining to do to the Car Salesman who let you take it for a test drive.

Ron and Bill, The Gay Flight Attendants – Domestic partners who dress alike. What else do we know so far? Nothing.

Amani and Marcus, The Ex-Football Player and Wife – Marcus told us that “anything less than winning is not an option.” Well, considering that he played 10 years with the Indianapolis Colts, and they only won one Super Bowl over that time, seems like not winning is perfectly fine in his world.

Kaylani and Lisa, The Former Showgirls – Passport losing Vegas gals who want to show that their brains are in their head, not their chest.

My Random Thoughts:

- What the hell was with that Bus on the intro? Did CBS really shell out the cash to paint a bus for 3 camera shots that totalled about 4 seconds? Are they planning on using that bus later this season? Future seasons?

- I like the return of The Express Pass, which is good up to and including the 8th leg, and I thought I liked the idea of a new penalty, The Hazard, before I realized that it’s just a Speed Bump for One.
- I had to laugh at the beginning of the episode, at the Umbrella task before the teams got their keys to the vehicles, when Ernie ran up to the wall of umbrellas. The very first task, and he’s the first person, to grab the very FIRST umbrella…and he said “this is totally crazy.” Really? 3 seconds into the Race, it’s already “crazy”?

- Kaylani and Lisa, meanwhile, lost one of their passports in approximately 12 minutes. Upon realizing it was gone, Kaylani said “I’m seriously gonna vomit…all over the place”, which I guess was important to mention, as opposed to vomiting in one confined area.
It seemed like all was lost until a Jersey Shore reject and his friend showed up at LAX with the lost passport. The hero of the moment was Ryan Storms, who enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame, draping his arm around the showgirls like he was on the red carpet at a Hollywood premiere. Didn’t you love how they showed his actual Twitter handle, and the message that saved Kaylani and Lisa’s Race? When the Twitter message popped up on screen, I’m sure Mr. Storms was thinking “I’m gonna get SO many more followers”, while I (and hopefully many of you) were thinking “You don’t know the difference between ‘their’ and ‘there’, you idiot.”

- In Taipei, the Road Block was pretty simple: an old-fashioned game of Telephone that saw the teams dialing 1-800-CONFUCIUS and needing to repeat the phrase on the line word-for-word. I was seriously howling at the giant WRONG stamp graphic on the screen every time someone screwed up. Reminded me of the ‘Eat the Wasabi’ challenge from Season 15.

- At the Dragon Boat Race, Cindy said “I feel so Asian right now”, which may have made sense…if she wasn’t already the only Asian contestant. Marcus said that his team got excited when he saw them coming. No, Marcus…when they saw the giant black man in a bright pink shirt running towards them waving a paddle and screaming, they were terrified.

- Ernie and Cindy earned the Express Pass for finishing first on this leg. Ernie said “Control freak Cindy on the Race is actually a pretty good teammate”, and Cindy responded by saying “which should have been obvious.” I think these two are going to make for some good TV. Remember Team Jungle Fever, Brian and Ericka…these two remind me of them.

- In the most predictable last-place finish in TAR history, Bill and Cathi sidled up to the mat to learn that the very first leg of the Race is a non-elimination leg. So next week, they will encounter a Speed Bump, and be forced to deal with a new twist: a Double Elimination leg that will see two teams leave the Race. I like it.

- Where was the Detour? Will the Speed Bumps be lame this season? And who will be edited to be this year’s villain? My leading odds: Jeremy (5-2), Jennifer (4-1), Cindy (6-1).

- I think it looks like it will be a pretty good season. As I said earlier, my pick to win is Ethan and Jenna…like they need another million.

Next Week: Sibling Rivalry brews and Two Teams hit the bricks.

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 or on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps 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 South Pacific.


shipaddict said...

You know, I'm wondering how far Ethan and Jenna will go. They haven't gotten much airtime during the show or much hype before the show, so that kind of makes me think they don't last very long. I am rooting for them basically cos of Ethan's battle with cancer, not cos they were Survivor faves or anything. And cos so far no one else has any personality.

Anonymous said...

The snow borders are slimmer to the Aussie Surfers who the Australian Race.

G said...

My favorites are Ethan/Jenna and Ernie/Cindy. I've loved both Ethan and Jenna since their Survivor seasons. I disagree that Cindy will get a villain edit, I think she got a really funny edit last night. "I feel so Asian right now" worked on so many levels of awesome!! :)

Anonymous said...

Fun commentary Sean! My Sis thinks all the other teams will be working together to get Ethan/Jenna gone ASAP (big target on their backs), also the football player IF they figure him out. I agree w/her.


Choirchick22 said...

The teams were all talking about getting out the survivor winners. While I love that Ethan beat cancer, I don't think the two of them need any more millions. I'm cheering for the snow boarders. Just cuz they are fun. :p Haha favorite moment was anything with the showgirls. They wanna prove they have brains, but how dumb were they this whole episode (possibly due to editing, but still hilarious).

Anonymous said...

It's so nice to have TAR back on TV. Enjoy your recaps Sean...I can always count on a good laugh. When the Husband farmer looked at his watch and said we have been searching for the clue for 4 hours I thought they won't last another week!!!

Lumpy said...

My money is on Ernie and Cindy. They strike me as the type of couple that sits on the same side of the table when dining alone. They have a unique dynamic and seem to be uber-competitive. That was apparent when Ernie busted out of the gate and was the first to the umbrellas. I thought his calves were going to explode!! It'll be interesting to see how each of the group's is portrayed as the race goes on. But after Leg 1 - most of the more memorable one-liners belonged to Ernie and Cindy.. Dark-side, I feel so Asian, referring to his fiance as a control freak... these are just going to get better as the race goes on.

R.P. McMurphy said...

Just one sentence into your first recap of this season's TAR, I couldn't help but thinking, "This totally crazy!"

Can't believe the showgirls were bailed out. Glad they showed us the process of how it happened.

I fear that I'm thinking along the lines of "shippaddict" that there hasn't been much hype towards Ethan and Jenna so they may not last long. I'm hoping that since that's not really they're personality ala Boston Rob, that maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Vyrastas said...

Ethan/Jenna will be U-turned as soon as possible, since mostly everyone already knows they both won Survivor.

I love how they edit these shows sometimes... Kaylani and Lisa say they are going to show everyone they have it "going on up here" (pointing at head). Then minutes later one proceeds to lose their passport. *facepalm*

I know Ernie and Cindy won the first leg, so it's easy to pick them as a favorite, but I get the feeling that they'll go a long way.

HoH8 said...

Phil is looking Great as Ever and this season he gave us a good "GO" to start the race.... ☺....

we gonna have fun with Bert&Ernie for sure, lol... ☻ ...