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Cow Lips Sink Kentucky's Ship on "The Amazing Race"

While it was bound to happen eventually, I couldn't help but get a little teary after the ending of last night's episode of The Amazing Race. There was no conceivable way that coalminer and wife David and Mary would ever be able to win the entire Race, but they brought with them a genuine joy for the cultures and people they encountered along the way and they'll be missed. (More on them in a bit.)

This week, the racers arrived in the island nation of Madagascar (known to many, including Mary, as the setting for that, um, charming cartoon with the animals). Once again, the teams managed to catch up to one another and get lumped together, as they all managed to board a 11:00 am flight out of Kuwait to Madagascar. And once again, Rob and Kimberly managed to astound me with their particular breed of xenophobia and ignorance when discussing the dangers of carbon monoxide and lack of protein on the indigenous population, whose brains are malformed and underdeveloped as a result. Maybe you could have that printed on a t-shirt!

This week's episode featured the inclusion of yet another twist in the Race. While we've encountered Road Blocks and Detours (not to mention a Fast Forward this week that wasn't quite so fast), producers threw another wrench in the works by creating a new challenge for the teams: The Intersection. Wisely sticking with the motif of road travel, producers have hit a new level of ingeniousness with the Intersection, which requires a team to wait at the clue box for another team to come along and agree to work with them. Once they've begun the Intersection challenge, the teams will be forced to work together until further notice. I was actually hoping that the "further notice" would have come further along as it was hysterical to see the teams be forced to work and compete together.

Naturally, no one wanted to work with the Beauty Queens (especially not Lyn and Karlyn) but the Cho Bros, being the cool cats that they are, happily agreed to work with them (not that they had any choice as the Blondies were the only team still at the Intersection). It broke up the completely irritating six-pack alliance (about time too) and it was actually fun seeing the Blondies and the Chos work together to deliver eight foam mattresses through the serpentine streets and back alleys of the city. I'm praying that future contestants watching this installment of the Amazing Race realize that alliances hold you back in this race more than anything and the Chos were much more motivated to compete and get ahead without being saddled with the other members of the vaunted Six-Pack.

Meanwhile, I actually found myself rooting for Dustin and Kandice for once, which surprised the hell out of me. While I don't like them as people, I do respect them as players and they have played this game really, really well. (I find myself in a similar respect/dislike pattern as I did with Chip and Reichen a few seasons back.) They definitely deserve to win this race, have played smart and sneaky, and have a winning mix of competitive skills, underhandedness, and a determination to be the first all-female team to win the Amazing Race. Which, to be honest, would be pretty cool. (And I'd love to see how model/addicts Tyler and James could handle being beat by two women.) Still, I didn't really like how they left behind the car that they smashed up last week to take another team's car, especially as it was just a drive from their rest stop to the airport. That didn't sit so well with me as it was really just unnecessary.

The other teams didn't do quite so well as the Beauty Queens. Arriving at the Intersection, Rob and Kimberly and Tyler and James opted to go for the Fast Forward and were shocked (not to mention horrified) to learn that they would each need to eat an entire heaping plate of cow lips, a delicacy in Madagascar... which made little difference to the racers as they were, um, astounded to discover that hair and teeth were still attached in some cases. (I'm glad I wasn't eating dinner whilst this was on.) The foursome pushed through though it was only James who sped through his portion, proving that, yes, he was at least good for something on this race. Predictably, it was Kim who had the most difficulty though I am amazed that her vomiting didn't cause the others to follow suit. The united teams spent so long at the Fast Forward that they blew their shot at first place (Dustin and Kandice managed to sneak by after a time-consuming road block involving finding specific rubber stamps in a crowded marketplace), but managed to land in the second and third spots respectively.

Like just about everyone else on this leg of the race, the Chos encountered some difficulties wit the local taxi service and came in fourth (as usual, it seems). Note to foreign travelers in Madagascar, check the fuel gauge BEFORE getting into the cab as drivers seem to typically wait to fill up their tanks until they've picked up a client and are nearly (or completely) out of petrol.

Working together, David and Mary and Lyn and Karlyn had some major difficulties getting those mattresses delivered and decide to strap together all eight mattresses using their fanny pack cords. Probably not the best method for completing this challenge as it forced all four of them to try to lift/carry/drag far too big of a burden, rather than strapping four of them together and having two team members carry them sideways together. Still, I was rolling on the floor watching them try to maneuver the crowded streets of Antananarivo with their mattresses. Poor David and Mary, I could already tell that it was going to be curtains for you, even if someone seriously screwed up on this leg.

David and Mary managed to arrive at the Pit Stop in fifth place but thanks to the 30-minute penalty they received last week for their non-elimination, they had to wait on the sidelines until their time ran out. And, not unsurprisingly, Lyn and Karlyn made it to the pit stop only ten minutes into their penalty, leading to a teary goodbye between Alabama and Kentucky. While David and Mary didn't win that million dollar prize, they got to go on an adventure that opened their minds and broadened horizons for themselves and kids. And at the end of the day, seeing them walk away with that intact (along with their integrity) was the very best prize.

Next week on The Amazing Race: the teams fly to Helsinki, Finland, where every second counts as they push on toward the pit stop and the teams receive messages from home... but find themselves in a rather, er, muddy situation.

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); 40th Annual CMA Awards (ABC; 8-11 pm); 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); Justice (FOX); Fashion House (MyNet)

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

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 the Buddy System"), Chris is paired with bully Caruso as buddies on a school field trip by George Costanza. I mean, Jason Alexander.

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 ("Playdate with Destiny"), Ritchie wins a playdate with his teacher (Blair Underwood), which thrills Christine, until Richard spoils her plans with a prescheduled father-and-son activity.

Comments

Anonymous said…
There was a point in the show, I think it was when the chos/queens finished the detour first, when it seemed like it was pretty inevitable that David and Mary were done. Still, i was very sad. I wish L&C had taken just a little longer finding stamps.

Can't believe you didn't comment on BQ's comment to the Chos that they should do the paper one since they were Asian and could make paper, or whatever the hell they said.

I think my feelings on BQ are in line w/yours. It would be cool for an all female team to win.
I was very sad to see David and Mary go but I think that they really got a lot from the race. It was a life-altering experience for them and I feel like they definitely did not go home empty handed.

I was happy to see the Cho Brothers step it up. The blonde beauty queens really seemed to, um, inspire them. And even though they're irritating, I agree that they're playing the game well.

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