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Reality Check: "Race" Returns to Being, Well, Amazing

Okay, so I can honestly say that The Amazing Race as we know and love it is back. After the catastrophic error in judgment that was The Amazing Race: Family Edition, this season is already off to a great start. Interesting departure location? Check. Eyebrow-raising, arm-dropping Phil sending them off with a twinkle of excitement? Check. Destination requiring a valid US passport? Check.

It's that last bit that had me regain my trust in the show; after meandering around the country last season, the fact that the contestants left the good ole' US of A on the very first leg of the race is cause for celebration. (In fact, the episode's first ten minutes contained more excitement than the entire season of AR: Family Edition.)

Even before the teams reached the airport, I had already picked my favorite teams: hippies BJ and Tyler (whom I will dub Reefer Madness); boyfriend and girlfriend nerds-and-proud-of-it David and Lori (let's call them Team Frodo); and Latina mother and daughter Wanda and Desiree (The Two Hot Tamales). I already love David and Lori (they are just so damn adorable) and the Two Hot Tamales seem as driven and competitive as they are gorgeous. And what can you say about Reefer Madness? They are probably the two most amusing (and out there) team members on the Race so far.

Of course, it wouldn't be a season of AR without some god-awful teams thrown into the mix. I already have a huge dislike for college-dropout frat boys Eric and Jeremy (who apparently enjoy full-body waxes as much as they do basketball and drinking with "ho's"). Even before the teams had departed they had somehow already rubbed me the wrong way. Same goes for dentist Lake (dubbed "Scott Peterson" by Joseph of Ken-and-Barbie Team MoJo) and his dental hygenist wife Michelle. Lake has this totally creepy Svengali-by-way-of-Deliverance hold over his wife, refuses to admit that he made a mistake when he failed to read all of the clue instructions ("It was partially my fault."), and did you see how he nearly dislocated her arm at the pit stop? He's this season's Jonathan... only without the blue hair and shrill nasally voice.

Brazil gave us a brief taste of some exciting activities that seemed to be missing in the Patriot Act edition of Amazing Race last season. This week teams had to figure out their way around helicopter rides, motorcycle construction, and indigenous religious rites. But no road block? I hope that's not setting a precedent for the season and is only because it was the first episode of the season.

By the end of the episode, Frat Boys are in the top slot (and won $20,000 to boot) with Reefer Madness on their tails. Trailing them, The Two Hot Tamales and Team Frodo. Potential threat Ray and Yolanda (did you see those thighs?!?), the two Staten Island "Pinkies" (Danielle and Dani, who remind me that wearing pink should be outlawed at this point on AR), Monica and Joseph, Lake ("Like the ocean") and Michelle, and the oldies make up the bulk of the middle of the pack, in no particular order. Bottom of the heap: the Frosties (Lisa and Joni), the shrill, irritating, menopausal sisters ("Oh my Gawd!") whom I wish would have gotten eliminated in some new twist where the most annoying teams go home on the first leg.

Eliminated: gay best friends John and Scott, who proved to be the most useless team ever to attempt to run the race.... even moreso than older couple Fran and Barry (flashback to Gretchen and Meredith from two seasons ago), who managed to walk past the clue box about a zillion times. (And what was with all that extra luggage John and Scott were carting around? That was just...odd.)

While I am never a fan of the two-hour format, I do have to say that last night's episode bodes well for the rest of this season. And as long as we don't make a pit stop to visit with last season's insane Weaver family, I'll be along for the ride.

"Amazing Race" airs Tuesday evenings at 10 pm on CBS.


Anonymous said…
Ok, did you see the nipple rings (yes, that's plural) on the brunette frat boy? I threw up in mouth a little at the sight of them. Someone please put them in their place.
Jace Lacob said…
Okay, ew. I think you just made me throw up in *my* mouth just reading that. I did not notice the nipple rings and am very glad for that.

Eric and Jeremy are definitely at the top of my disliked teams list at the moment.
Anonymous said…
Is it just me or are Wanda and Desiree the Latina version of "The Gilmore Girls"? Attractive, wacky, fast-talking mother? Bright, fresh-faced daughter with Noxzema commercial-like skin who seems mature beyond her years? I love them already.
Anonymous said…
To Danielle, I say - Ha! Very good point.
Anonymous said…

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