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"Donkeys Have Souls Too": Another Season Begins on "Amazing Race"

Ah, how I've missed you, Amazing Race. You're like a breath of fresh air at a time when we needed you most. In a season filled with the looming threat of the writers strike, subpar reality entries (ahem, Phenomenon), and disappointing new series (save a few, really, which tend to be discussed here frequently), The Amazing Race is just what the doctor ordered.

On last night's season premiere of The Amazing Race ("Donkeys Have Souls Too"), we met the eleven teams competing for a million dollars in a race around the world. I try to not call out my favorites this early in the race as it's still a little too early to figure out just who you should be rooting for. Sod it, I'm going to do just that.

It's clear which teams I am most intrigued by. Despite their garish appearance, I kind of do like Goth couple Kynt and Vyxsin, though I had always believed that Goth culture embraced black as a primary color of clothing, rather than, you know, hot pink. Still, they work well together as a team and seem far less judgmental than some of the other teams (cough, Jennifer and Nathan, cough). Also on my TAR radar: siblings Azaria and Hendekea, who moved themselves worthy competitors as well as being sympathetic do-gooders, even donating the second bed in their room to father/daughter Ronald and Christina, who are also favorites, though next week's scenes show some melodrama going on there... Hippies Rachel and TK recall the exuberance and skill of those other TAR hippies from a few seasons back but manage to underplay their kookiness. Lesbian ministers Kate and Pat also seem like a strong, fun team.

There are already cracks in the facades of several dating teams: Jennifer and cheating heart Nathan were at the end of their tether last night when faced with a stubborn donkey and Lorena and Jason are already having difficulty communicating. I'm torn about Lorena and Jason; he doesn't listen even when he's faced with driving in the wrong direction (not sure how that happens when you have a map) but Lorena is abrasively histrionic. Hello, people! It's the first leg of the race.Maybe we can also stop making proclamations like Jennifer did about the hike up the hill being "the hardest thing" we've ever done in our lives. I was extremely happy to see these two at the bottom of the pack when they were stuck basically abusing their donkey in the road. Yes, it was a frustrating event when your donkey doesn't seem to want to move and just keeping braying but you've got to keep it together and finish any way you can.

Still, I'm happy that Jennifer and Nathan finished at the bottom of the pack, but still ahead of friends Ari and Staella, who were thankfully the last team to arrive. These two had got to be one of the most irritating teams ever to run the Race; Ari's shrill voice alone made me want to strangle him with the hay he was shoving in that poor donkey's face. Still, one does have to believe in karma a little bit. The gruesome twosome stole a taxi intended for Ronald and Christina, only to wind up with the very worst-behaving donkey, which they promptly attempted to drive to an early grave. I can breathe a little easier knowing that we won't have to put up with their bratty ways any longer.

And on a day where the writers strike is making the air in Hollywood more than a little thick, that's a very, very good thing.

Next week on The Amazing Race ("I've Become the Archie Bunker of the Home"), the teams travel to the Netherlands, where Grandpa Donald encounters a muddy pole-vaulting challenge and Christina stands up to her father, demonstrating that all is not well in their relationship.


Anonymous said…
Last night was the first time that I tuned into TAR (had family over, who watch it) and I was very glad to see that the people who were so mean to the donkey had to go home.hooray!
The show caught my attention enough to tune in next week too...
Anonymous said…
Definitely a strong start and a lot of teams to like. I pretty much have the same faves as you - goths, hippies, lesbians (ah, categories....). Not quite as on-board with brother and sister as they seem a little TOO close.

Also rooting for father/daughter, grandfather/grandson and the sisters. But they aren't in my top faves, yet.

So glad it was easy to spot the hated team. Jen and Nathan. Hate, hate, hate. Way to try and win her back, nate! I didn't care for Ari and Staella either, but would much rather have them still in it. Still, gotta love that instant karma, not just w/the cab thing, but with their opening statement that the other teams are going to hate them. Also not wild about the blondes.

So happy to have it back!!
Anonymous said…
Suprisingly, I really liked the goths. I also like the lesbian ministers but they'll definitely have to step it up if they want to stay in the game.

I was happy the brother and sister came in first but have to agree with Ally about their "closeness" as I was a little confused by the clips of them rolling around on the ground together during the introductions.

But the best part of last night's episode was the dud donkey that Jennifer and Nathan got stuck with. I was laughing hysterically when they were yelling at the donkey and the donkey made the longest, loudest, most obnoxious noise back at them as though to say "Screw You!" Too funny!
Anonymous said…
Such a good start! I am also rooting for the goths and the hippies and hate Jen and Nathan with a passion. Seriously, Nathan telling Jen that "you are the worst person at this ever" (or something like that) on the FIRST leg of the race doesn't bode well for them. I was laughing so hard I was crying when their donkey started freaking out. Not too much of a coincidence that the two shrillest teams couldn't get their donkeys to move.

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