We are 10 minutes into the new season and I am very impressed with the teams this year. All but maybe two are very strong contenders to win the race. One of the two I just mentioned already finished last on the first task and will have to complete a new "hazard" task on this leg. And, oh, gosh, she's lost her passport already. This does not bode well for the show girls...
Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!
Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
9F 9F 9F
Indeed, some pretty likeable teams so far, although a few are fairly predictable stereotypes in the making, I'm thinking. Pretty difficult beginnings, too, as I never did quite understand how that umbrella clue for Taiwan worked to start, and that was a real curveball they threw once at the destination when there was no traditional clue box awaiting. In a jetlagged state I can imagine myself wandering cluelessly for hours having no idea what I should be doing. (By the way, just the other day I flew back myself from London, and spent 45 minutes simply in the customs line at Dulles. They never show these things on the show - likely filming there isn't permitted by the governments involved - and it's easy to forget the delays and mental exhaustion that accompanies that in strange places). I'm also pretty bad at memorizing lines verbatim. This would not have been a good leg for me. Enjoying the ex-NFL player so far...
I can't believe I missed recording this. That will teach me to go to the neighbors to watch the chefs.
You actually have not missed any eliminations yet. Episode One went from LA to Taipei. The tasks weren't very difficult... that is if you could first find the clue: memorizing and repeating exactly a Confucian proverb that you could only hear from a pay phone (I'm very bad at that, as it happens, but it's not clear if anyone succeeded with a single try. Some obviously needed many...). Then there was a boat rowing feature with huge crews attached so anyone's individual prowess didn't particularly matter. The order of teams somehow changed somewhat between challenges without it being shown why (the editing down of episodes can get very frustrating sometimes), but even the final trailing team (a good ways behind, it would appear, but not far into the night so presumably within hailing distance) remains alive this time. They do have the extra Last Place task to face in the next round, whereas winners of this leg get a Go Directly To Finish card for later use (invalid in the final legs, however). But when Phil raised his crooked eyebrow to the camera early on saying "the last team MAY be eliminated from the competition," it turned out to mean the very first round. The flip side is that after the second leg TWO teams will get the axe. I kind of like not having one team getting the hook before getting much of a chance to prove themselves, but it's probably just a stay of execution in this case.
Seriously, the guaranteed double elimination next week will cull the weak teams for sure. Always tough to predict who will have an unforeseen problem, but I don't hold out much hope for the two I alluded to in my original post. Wouldn't necessarily say that the farmers who finished last this week were one of those two, either.
Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!
Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
9F 9F 9F
I knda like the farmers too. Unfortunately the wife's voice sounds alarmingly like the mom in 'That 70s Show.' It's the Showgirls and the blonde twins I could do without and I suspect you feel the same way. The flight attendants seem to have the potential to turn 'The Two Guidos' on us very quickly. And I'd forgotten all about useless Jenna and the noble Ethan from Survivors long past. I'd have hoped Ethan would have done better...
This season I'm guessing they give Pakistan a pretty wide berth. Egypt and Libya too. This was probably filmed 4-6 months ago. And it would be quite surreal if they'd visited northern Japan, or the South Island of New Zealand that was ripped apart by the earthquake last spring. Even Iceland can go volcanic on you these days. Yikes...
I know I'm cynical, but was I the only one to find that whole passport thing hokey? Supposedly the last group dropped their passport and had it found by people who had talked to the first group while they were getting gas and were somehow still around but not in the camera shots when the last group got there? And so the crew filmed the passport on the ground but not the guys picking it up? And the guys then figured out to go to LAX thanks to twitter?
I think that it's much more likely that the show either scripted the passport story (I know they are showgirls, but can anyone really be silly enough to DROP their passport 15 minutes into the Race?) or they didn't want the showgirls eliminated that quickly and created the situation where the passport was returned.
Anyone else as cynical as me?
I have to agree with the passport conspiracy theory.
But that wasn't even the first disappointment for me in this race. I am severely disappointed in the team selections.
Why? Because I'm really sick of unreal reality television. And I have some inside information to the Amazing Race contestant selection. I am very close to somebody that just missed getting on season 6 (don't ask me who was in that race). Specifically, this couple was in Dallas (or Houston) for final interviews where you're packed and ready to go.
During their entire audition process, they were referred to as "the couple that actually turned in a tape." See, that's not how A/R picks their contestants (via the way they claim all of us should apply to BE contestants). What actually happens is that A/R assistant producers scour the streets of specific metropolitan areas and select the teams they want on the show. Hence 6 - 8 teams from California in the race.
In the end, there were no contestants from season 6 that actually sent in a tape - all 11 couples were picked out of the street or out of agencies by assistant producers.
Well, this time, they threw in several famous people. Yawwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. Like I really care about some teenager whose parents had him sail around the world (yawwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnn). Give me the deaf kid back. At least he was good for some kind of amusing mental breakdown during the show.
And the gratuitous fake use of twit? Cute (especially if you like to twit[sic]), but hardly realistic.
A little cynical, CF?
Twitter has a good archive, and other trackers found the guy's twitter feed with ppropriate time stamps. It all checks out.
Anyway, I did find one reason to dislike one of the teams. The siblings (brother and sister) went to Carolina, and the brother puts on a Tar Heel hat during the next episode.
Really? So a guy gets filmed by a camera crew - with a producer - and picks up a passport from one of the teams. The producer doesn't tell him "if you go to LAX, you can catch them - they're in trouble" but the filmee tweets about it - and ANOTHER random producer tweets back "take it to LAX." This was contrived, plain and simple. Twitter paid $120K (or whatever the going placement rate is) and got on the Amazing Race.
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the entire event, including the loss of the passport, were scripted, given that the showgirls were going to be on the second flight no matter what. Notice we didn't see how long everybody had to sit at the airport.
And, in real time, I had a fleeting thought that somebody had finally come up with an actual use for twitter (although I guess if you can make 6 figures from getting paid BY TWITTER, that should count).
My thoughts on the timeline is that the surfers went to the gas station first, the two guys gave them directions, and a secondary producer got their signature on a release form. The producer left, and the guys found the passport. Knowing already that it was TAR (the guy's first tweet) he tweeted again, the answer from a fanatic was that they needed the passport at the airport asap. So they took off. (It's 50/50 if he would have done this for one of the male contestants, rather than a former Vegas showgirl.) My guess is that they were at the airport a while (LAX I believe only has one international terminal, so where to go at LAX was easy) and had them keep paging the girl until she got there. The rest we saw on the show.
This baby boomer doesn't really understand the attraction of Twitter, but I do understand the fanatical following TAR has, and that the the story given is very plausible. I would expect if somebody had proof of something else, the NY Times wouldn't have printed their exclusive.
As for LAX, it has 7 terminals with one dedicated to international flights but several others which have international departures if I remember correctly. I'm pretty sure I have flown internationally out of several different ones. That doesn't mean they couldn't find the showgirls.