Sunday, October 30, 2011

Amazing Race Recap: “We Love Your Country, It’s Very Spacious”

Before I get to tonight’s recap, I just need to mention that I absolutely love watching The Amazing Race on CTV here in Canada, because I don’t have to deal with delays caused by NFL football or golf. That’s right, people…while you’re waiting 29 minutes for the show to start, we Canucks are up here eating back bacon and maple syrup while the show starts promptly at 8:00 pm.

After last week’s elephant-tastic episode, the teams are off to Africa for the sixth leg of the Race. Who’s trapped under a bed? Why are the teams building toy trucks? And who hasn’t paid their driver?

My Random Thoughts:

- Previously on The Amazing Race…The twins had no money. The twins had no money! But at least they had an elephant-gasm, right? Team NFL came in first place, while the Twins were eliminated partially because, you guessed it, they had no money.

- From the Pit Stop of Bangkok, teams learned that they had to travel more than 5,000 miles to Malawi in Africa. Teams were all on the same flight to Malawi, so the first few minutes were spent talking about the teams

- Cindy is frustrated with their team making mistakes on each leg, while Ernie says “mistakes are inevitable”. Do you think after the camera was off of them, control freak Cindy turned to Ernie and yelled, “No they’re NOT inevitable…unless you’re a B student!”
- Amani and Marcus talked about having a special-needs child, and Jennifer talked about teaching Special Ed. But then, Jennifer referred to the Race as her “special baby.” Just when I thought she was being sensitive, it turns out she was actually being insulting. How do you think Amani and Marcus feel hearing someone compare The Race to a special-needs child? After last week's heavily edited “look how tolerant Jennifer is” moment with regards to other religions, I found this pretty interesting.

- All during the race, it’s been bothering me trying to figure out who Marcus reminded me of…and now I’ve figured it out. Fans of HBO’s The Wire (perhaps the greatest show in the history of television) are probably looking at Marcus and shouting “Stringer Bell!” Don’t you think they look alike?

- So the teams were off to Malawi…and here’s a fun fact about Malawi, in case you didn’t know: the government of Malawi has introduced a bill for a new law to try and stop people from breaking wind in public. The intention is to prosecute those “who foul the air” in an effort to “mould responsible and disciplined citizens”. I thought you should know.

- After landing, the teams had to find their way to a Tobacco warehouse, which was a relevant task since 60% of Malawi’s income is derived from the sale of tobacco leaves. I live in Southwestern Ontario, and there is a large industry nearby of farming tobacco, and also a legendary song by Stompin’ Tom Connors about the strenuous labours of working tobacco (Helpful tidbit: Tillsonburg is the name of the city that is the centre of the industry).
- For the Roadblock, teams had to move 10 “heavy-ass” bales of tobacco with a handcart around a maze-like warehouse that looked like the final scene from Raiders of The Lost Ark. Not only did they have to do this, but they had to do it while the local workers were still scrambling around the lanes and ramming them with their own bales of tobacco. And those that weren’t trying to slow them down were singing and dancing on the bales. Hey, at least they were happy instead of just laughing at the misfortunes of the racers. Maybe they just found out that Madonna has once again been refused in her efforts to adopt all of the children in Malawi.

Everyone was finding it hard to breathe (which is understandable since many of the workers had masks), the Snowboarders inexplicably DIDN’T choose Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide who did it, and everyone had trouble taking corners with the cart. Is it really that hard to know how to use a dolly/handcart? You have to step on the axle between the wheels to anchor it when you want to lift, people!

Amani and Marcus finished last, and apparently this was the green light for all of the workers to gather around Marcus, singing, dancing, jumping, and helping him take his orange jumpsuit off. The scene looked eerily reminiscent of the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night, mobbing David Freese at the plate after his 11th-inning homer. Did you see that game? Since when did ripping someone’s uniform off constitute a form of celebration?
- After the Roadblock, teams had to travel to the Memorial Tower, where they opened their next clue and were faced with a Detour. The choices were All Sewn Up, where teams would have to use a manual sewing machine to finish a suit jacket and pants, or Not Grown Up, where teams would have to visit a school and build toys for the children out of scrap materials.

Laurence showed his generational differences by stating that “this is where the women whip past us”, because apparently all women sew great and all men build trucks fast. I’m sure he’s hoping a future challenge includes a barefoot pregnant woman doing laundry while he chops down a tree and then reads the newspaper in front of the television. (And how awesome was it that Marcus, perhaps the “manliest man” in the Race, jumped at the chance to sew?)

- In All Sewn Up, the teams had to find their way to the tailor shop in a busy marketplace, choose a waiting patron, and work on his suit. What made this task so awkward was that the patron was waiting for them only a few feet away…with no pants on. Talk about putting a realistic spin on the task, huh? Ernie came up with the best line in this one, talking about how Cindy normally “holds the pants in our relationship” and her response was a predictable “Hey, Hey!” to shush him.

- Not Grown Up was a great challenge that seemed rewarding to all of the teams. This is really what the Race is about, not just the competition, but the adventure, the culture, and the human element of it all. It’s why I love it more than all other Reality shows, and why it has won 8 Emmys.

And then Laurence shat all over that sentiment by talking about how he loves the kids, only to be seen yanking the clue out of the hands of the young boy presenting it to him.


I liked that there were a couple of brief moments where the teams stopped to play soccer with the kids. Don’t you wish Ethan and Jenna would have still been here for this? This is what Ethan’s charity is all about.

- After the Detour (which Jeremy and Sandy finished in first place), teams then had to find their way to a roadside furniture shop, and transport their own beds to Kumbali Village, which was also the next Pit Stop.
- The teams had to take trucks for most of the way, which led to some interesting moments. Cindy was hanging off the back end of the truck, saying “I’ve never felt less safe in my life than right now”, while Bill was standing up, hooting and hollering “Yee-haw!” on the ride.

Here’s the interesting thing to consider, though…remember that footage of Cindy (and others) hanging off the back of the truck? Where the hell is the cameraman?? From what I can tell, he had to be sitting ON TOP of the cab of the truck as it sped down the road!

- After arriving “near” the Pit Stop, teams had to settle up with their drivers and carry their beds the rest of the way. It was awkward for most, but none more so than Cindy, who tried to balance the frame on top of her head, only to fall seconds later, creating her own personal temporary prison cell.
- Justin and Jennifer were the first to arrive, and danced with the local ladies to celebrate, until they found out that they had to backtrack and pay their driver. As a result, Team Snowboard won their fourth leg, which included a prize of a 3rd trip, this time to a private Island in the Virgin Islands. Hey guys, now you have to win more money so you can take the wives on that one too…and buy that elephant you want.

- Bill and Cathi also had to backtrack to pay their driver, leading to a “footrace” with Amani and Marcus. Come on, who do you think was going to win between a former NFL player and his wife, and the grandparents? Well, when the former NFL player has to carry a bed, it’s probably going to be the Oldsters every time.

- Earlier in the episode, Amani and Marcus talked about going from worst to first. Well, they’re back to worst again, and just like his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, he’s learning what it’s like to be on top, and then be dead last. Lucky for them it was a non-elimination leg. We’ll see how relevant the Speed Bump is next week.

Next Week: Bike Taxis and Log Canoes.

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.

Thanks for reading.

(Photo Credits: Reality Fan Forum, CBS)


Lorro said...

Can't believe you didn't mention Lawrence's continued chavaunistic attitude by constantly going on about how sandy should be sewing because she's a woman, even after she flat out said she couldn't sew at all. Love the recaps!

Anonymous said...

Fun recap Sean. NOW I understand how you post them so quickly. Never realized you are in SW Canada.

Also loved that legendary song by Stompin’ Tom Connors.


1138 said...

Another Non-Elimination Leg!? This is quickly becoming the most boringest season ever.

R.P. McMurphy said...

Forget the NFL, I'm always worried that "Sean's Random Thoughts" will be preempted by a hockey game or the World Poker Tour!

I'm with 1138. Doesn't it seem like the non-elimination legs are more frequent? Really takes away from the drama. Maybe they can bring the twinsies back? I can chip in some money for them.

And how many wins does that make for the snowboarders taking advantage of someone else's mistake? Take 'em anyway you can get 'em!

Kelli said...

I love the Snowboarders, NFL's and Bill & Kathy!

I was glad to see another non-elimination BUT do agree that there have been too many already.

Can't believe some of the haters on the EW site. People are vicious.

I'm not Canadian but I enjoy your Random Thoughts and am jealous that you have no delay from football. Watching it from our DVR doesn't really affect us anywho.

Keep up the good work!!

Kelli said...

Oh and, that Lawrence has surely shown his true colors these last few episodes.

I wish Zac brought his sister instead of his male chauvinist pig/dad.

Kurt Sahr said...

Stringer Bell! Thank you. I've been trying to figure that out all season, as well.

Sherilyn -Dominee Huisvrouw said...

I enjoyed that when Cindy became trapped under the bed that she didn't get pissed off like some racers would, but instead just started laughing. I like seeing the fun side of them.

HoH8 said...

All these non-elim legs only means more double elim legs...Great....

Ah..Stringer Bell...sweet Wire memories...Great HBO show.....

Marcus has been a big disappointment for a big strong guy, he's been very weak.....

the Oldtimers keep surprising me every week coming from behind to end up in the front of the pack...

i watch TAR whenever its late due to football in the internet on sites that screen it live from Canada...☺...

Anonymous said...

Still like Zac a lot, but I agree that Laurence is getting annoying.

I'm actually liking Ernie & Cindy a lot. I loved how Cindy started laughing when the bed fell on top of her instead of getting mad, and there have been a lot of other funny moments with them (there's an extra clip on where they drew a picture of themselves with a lightning bolt behind them to tell a taxi driver to go faster. They were having a good time with it, and it was pretty funny).

Beth said...

What are the sites that stream TAR from Canada??? PLEASE share!! :-) I get soooo frustrated with the darned football delays! (Especially because I also like to watch Desperate Housewives on ABC at 9:00, so if CBS runs late, it just throws off my whole night!) Thanks!