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Such Great Heights: Teams Arrive in Kuwait and Promptly Get Lost on "The Amazing Race"

It's rather cool that producers took their promise seriously this season to send the teams competing in this, the tenth installment of The Amazing Race, to some, well, amazing locations: China, Mongolia, Vietnam, etc. I think it's rather fun again to wonder where they'll be sent next and what mischief they'll be made to do. It almost makes up for the Weaver family. Well, almost.

Last night's episode found the teams leaving behind
Chennai, India for Kuwait and their only hint to find their next clue was a photograph of the Kuwait Towers taken on a cell phone. (Ahem, product placement.) While that proved easier than not to solve (showing nearly anyone said photograph helped), it was a welcome mini-twist (and a throwback to the early years of the Race) to see teams attempting to figure out WHERE to go next and not just look on a map or ask for directions. (Though that apparently was rather tricky for some teams too.)

The Beauty Queens just bug, especially as they seem to have difficulties reading the clues and try to take shortcuts when completing the tasks. In the Detour, they didn't fill the bags of camel feed to the indicated line and then got huffy when they decided that the detour judges were being so picky and particular. (Um, no, that's just what the clue tell you to do.) Likewise, during the Roadblock -- in which one team member had to climb the exterior ladder of the Kuwait Towers and then assemble a puzzle which revealed (in Arabic) their next destination -- they were furious with Lyn and Karlyn for telling some locals not to help the girls, even though Dustin and Kandice would have done the very same thing. And have done so in the past! They're hypocritical and that instantly makes me dislike them as a team; it's one thing to be a tough competitor and to be sneaky, but it's quite another to get all puffed up when other teams do the same. You set the standard, after all.

Kimberly is now officially the poster child for the Ugly American. When she's not tossing off ethnocentric bon mots as in other episodes, she's revealing her own ignorance and stupidity. Like in last night's episode when she kept calling the Grand Mosque the "Grand Mask." When corrected by the way overly-excitable Rob as to the correct pronunciation of the, you know, holy space, her only reaction was, "What-ever. I don't know what that is." Um, Kim, you've never heard of a mosque? Have you been living under a rock lately? I find it rather astounding that she's again and again proven herself more ignorant than coalminer David and his wife Mary, whom many thought would be a one-note hillbilly joke. Instead, it's the two of them that are enchanted by everything they see and everyone they encounter, while Kimberly proves that she's the uneducated, oblivious one. Truly a sad commentary on the American educational system.

Speaking of David and Mary, I thought for sure they would be eliminated this week. But thanks to the Fast Forward, and some selfless acts from the Cho Brothers, the couple managed to brave the flames (reaching over 1000 degrees) and get their clue from a box situated next to a raging (if staged) oil field blaze. Having obtained the Fast Forward, they were able to skip all of the obstacles and make their way to the Pit Stop, where they actually managed to check in first, and thus avoid a 30-minute penalty (the new non-elimination twist). I'm really happy that David and Mary were able to check in first. I think we can all agree that there's no way that these two can win the Race, but they've made it incredibly far, landed in the top spot one week, and will walk away with a vacation to Jamaica. So I'm happy on their account that they're not exactly walking away empty handed.

I was really quite stunned by the generosity of the Cho Brothers, especially since strong-arming David and Mary into taking the Fast Forward landed them in last place and could have ended in their elimination. (I loved seeing the Beauty Queen's faces when they realized that the Cho Bros had tricked them into not taking the Fast Forward.) But Karma, as Earl Hickey knows, has a funny way of smiling down on good people and the Chos managed to check in at the mat in fifth place... even though I had a sinking feeling they would be eliminated.

Even more stunning was the fact that it became quite clear that it was going to be either Tyler and James or Peter and Sarah who got the boot last night. Both teams have been incredibly strong but plagued by problems -- some internal, some external -- that seem to hold them back. Tyler and James aren't my favorite team by far but I wasn't ready to see them go home either. Meanwhile, Peter and Sarah have been pretty fierce competitors and while I've been rooting for Sarah the entire time, I was conflicted about cheering on their team as a whole, because I find Peter to be so completely loathsome. Why on earth would he have Sarah do the climbing road block at the Kuwait Towers? While it ended up being perfectly fine (the entire road block seemed way too easy, in fact) and Sarah was able to make her way up the ladder without any problem, it totally underscored the fact that this guy doesn't get it at all, especially after she had such difficulty scaling the cliff that time.

These two are clearly not connecting with one another and I'm thrilled that Sarah finally realized that Peter is not the guy for her. I loved the fact that Sarah felt confident enough to tell Peter to his face that she thought he was unkind and that clearly they are not a good fit for one another. So, even though she was eliminated from the Race, I can't say that Sarah walked away without winning anything.

Next week on The Amazing Race: Dustin and Kandice clash with Lyn and Karlyn at an airline ticket counter (quelle surprise) and then manage to crash their car. I don't know about you, but I cannot wait to see that.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: How I Met Your Mother/The Class (CBS); Deal or No Deal (NBC); Everybody Hates Chris/All of Us (CW); Wife Swap (ABC); Prison Break (FOX); Desire (MyNet)

9 pm: Two and a Half Men/The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS); Heroes (NBC); Girlfriends/The Game (WB); The Bachelor: Rome (ABC); Justice (FOX); Fashion House (MyNet)

10 pm: CSI: Miami (CBS); Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC); What About Brian (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8:00 pm: Everybody Hates Chris.

Now on its new night (Mondays) and at a new time (8 pm), it's the second season of former UPN comedy Everybody Hates Chris. On tonight's episode ("Everybody Hates a Liar"), Chris makes the entire block think that he and Tasha are an item, leading Tasha's grandmother (that would be Whoopi Goldberg) to tell Rochelle a thing or two.

9:30 pm: Old Christine.

I can't tell you why I like watching this traditional sitcom, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus is like a warm blanket of coziness after a long Monday. On tonight's episode ("The Champ"), it's the return of Sad Dad (Andy Richter), whom Christine slept with in Season One... but now she is forced to admit that she is attracted to him.

10 pm: Weeds on Showtime.

Season Two of Showtime's suburban-set pot dramedy is in full swing. On tonight's episode ("Yeah. Like Tomatoes"), Peter stops being Mr. Nice Guy when he listens in on one of Nancy and Conrad's phone conversations. Meanwhile, Celia and Doug's affair becomes serious.


Anonymous said…
Ok, but...

I know you don't like Dustin and Candice and you like Lyn and Carlyn (I am not great fans of either team, honstly), but Lyn and Carlyn made such a big point of saying "don't tell those girls anything" when, really, it's part of the game for people to get information and the BQ weren't necesarily guilty of "not getting their own game instead of glomming on to someone else's." Teams do that all the time. So why, then, wasn't it completely hypocritical of L&C to do the same thing about 20 minutes later (20 mins in show time), when they followed some team (can't remember whom) and forced their way into listening to the info that team was getting? They just said "D&C need to get their own game" and then they turn around and do the same thing which, by the way, wasn't exactly that underhanded a move. It's perfectly legitimate to try and hear information. You don't like BQ, I get that, but at least acknowledge that they aren't exactly the only team being "underhanded."

rockauteur said…
I don't get how Peter always makes Sarah do the physical roadblocks, especially the ones always involving climbing. Her leg doesn't even work properly because of leaking hydraulic fluid!!! Yet Peter seems to always push the tasks to her, even with his agility in tact. Thank god they got eliminated!

I still don't like The Sistas, and I certainly didn't like that they physically pushed their direction friend from the Beauty Queens. Telling the guy not to help them is one thing, but they actually pushed him away! I wanted to see them go home last night.

My only problem with the episode in general was that I was disappointed to the lack of effort that David and Mary put in to get to first. By putting a fast forward after the non-elimination leg was a little cheap; I would have rather seen the team struggle more in order to make it to the front of the pack. It seemed unfair, and the Fast Forward was pretty damn easy too (though I loved seeing Peter and Sarah's face when they accidentally arrived there - that was HILARIOUS - what are the chances of that?). As much as I love David and Mary, it was just too easy for them to climb out of the dilemma. And the Cho brothers should be commended for helping then, but I think they sincerity and assistance will get them eliminated soon.
Anonymous said…
YAY! I'm so glad that David and Mary are still in the race. That was very nice (if somewhat ill-conceived) of the Cho Brothers to do that for them. And I'm glad they had the opportunity to win something and come in first.

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