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The Amazing Race 9, Episode 1: Put on Some Pants, It’s Time to Dance!by Jenn Brasler -- 03/01/2006
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Phil greets us from the roof of a building in Denver, Colorado, and tells us that 11 teams will start here on their race around the world. The teams are being driven in pickup trucks to the Red Rocks Amphitheater. You can get a full summary of the teams from my preview article, but here’s the gist of it:
Lake & Michelle are a married dentist and assistant from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Michelle says that Lake is the leader and she’s a “typical southern woman.” Like Scarlett O’Hara, she’ll do whatever she has to to get through the war. Lake says he doesn’t have a lot of compassion and people might be threatened by him. He thinks they’ll be strong enough to win.
This season’s impossible-to-tell-apart-partners are Danielle & Dani, childhood friends from Staten Island. Dani (don’t hold me to that) says that they’ll focus on the race, but they’re young, they like to have fun, and they like boys. Heidi & Megan, anyone? They’ll keep their femininity by wearing pink bandannas, but if it comes down to getting dirty for a task, they’re willing to do so. They may look angelic, but they’re devils.
BJ & Tyler are best friends from San Francisco, as well as my first set of sentimental favorites. (BJ’s the brunette and Tyler’s the blond. If I screw it up from now on, it’s my own fault.) The two are competitive knowledge-seekers. BJ says they don’t want to destroy other teams, they just want to beat them thoroughly. Tyler thinks that other teams will not see them coming and won’t realize that they’ll do whatever they can to win. He didn’t say the word “underestimate,” but you know that’s pretty much what he was thinking. BJ just nods hilariously and says, “Yeah.” I love them already.
Yolanda & Ray, a teacher and a lawyer, are dating and live in Chicago. Yolanda says they’re smart, capable, and athletic. She sees Ray as the male version of herself. I wonder if he would take that as a compliment. Ray says he’s from the hood, where people go to jail all the time and feel like the system is against them. He went to law school to feel empowered. He thinks they’re “public enemy number one,” the team to beat.
Lifelong friends Scott & John are from New England, and Scott says they’re like family. His father called Jon his “tallest daughter.” Ha! Maybe Scott, his father, and two of their family members should have been on the family edition. John wants to do the race because he feels like he’s not living a full life. He’s afraid of flying and thinks the race will help him overcome that and other fears. John says they’ll do things or they’ll die trying. “Or one of us is,” Scott adds. I like them a lot. Not that it matters, but it looks like these two are gay, which makes them the Danny & Oswald of the season, which makes me very happy.
Monica & Joseph are from Fayetteville, Arkansas, and are dating. They’re another of my sentimental favorites. Monica says that they have a friendship before a relationship, which I think is great. Joseph says that they do fight sometimes, but they get over it quickly. Both agree that Joseph is competitive and doesn’t like to lose. Monica warns anyone who might get in their way because when Joseph gets frustrated, it’s not pretty.
Speaking of pretty, Jeremy & Eric are from Florida and, surprisingly, are not models. One is a bartender and one is a waiter. They’re self-proclaimed slackers who would like to be millionaires but don’t want to have to go to the trouble of working for the money. Eric is the brunette, by the way.
Lisa & Joni are sisters from Houston. Joni (I believe) says that they’re superheroes and “glamazons.” They’re tall, but they’re girly. Lisa thinks they’ll be taken for granted; they’re both manipulative and bright. She adds that they both tend to get their way, which will be interesting when they inevitably wind up wanting different things. In a portion of their home video, the glamazons are using a Bedazzler, which cracked up a lot of RNO writers who remember the Bedazzler fiasco from The Apprentice 3. “No is never an option,” says Lisa.
The always-popular older couple is Fran & Barry, who live in Littleton, Colorado, and have been married for 40 years. Awww, they’re high school sweethearts. Fran says that they know each other so well that they can tell something’s wrong just from facial expressions. Barry thinks they’re too competitive and energetic to be the kindly grandparent couple. Fran vows to steamroll over everyone.
Wanda & Desiree are the first mother-daughter team we’ve had in a long time. They’re from Atlanta, and Wanda says they’re close because they respect each other and Desiree trusts her judgment. She thinks the challenge will be letting Desiree be an individual. Desiree says that Wanda isn’t a typical mom; she’s very “hip.” Desiree gets a negative point for being the first person of the season to use the word “underestimate,” but I’ll give her a chance to redeem herself. Wanda says they’ll salsa their way to the pit stop. I would love to see that.
Last but not least, Lori & Dave are from Manhattan, Kansas, and have been dating for three years. Dave wins me (and many RNO writers) over immediately by saying that he and Lori are two of the biggest nerds you’ll ever meet. They’re unashamed, as they should be. They’re also competitive and seem pretty smart. Lori thinks that their relationship will help them. They respect each other and will probably not fight much. “How can you lose when you have Dave on your team?” Lori asks. They’re so cute and have been two of my sentimental favorites since the preview at the end of last season.
The trucks arrive as Phil wonders if the teams will be able to stand up to the stress of traveling more than 60,000 miles together. Who will find the right combination of brains, brawn, and teamwork to win a million dollars? Those (and many other) questions will be answered this season.
Phil gives his typical spiel to the teams about their race around the world, completing tasks, working together, etc. Eight pit stops will be elimination points this season. The teams’ first clue will be on their luggage, which they have to run up the amphitheater steps to get to. It’s always nice to start off with a potentially dangerous footrace. The teams cheer over the million dollars greeting one of them at the end of the race. Lori is wearing glasses that look a lot like mine, which means I like her even more now. “The world is waiting for you,” Phil announces, then gives an eyebrow raise and a “go!”
BJ & Tyler are the first to their clue, which sends the teams to Sao Paolo, Brazil. When they arrive, they are to find the Unique Hotel (no, really, that’s it’s name) and search for their next clue on the roof. They can take one of three flights that leave about an hour apart. Either Dani or Danielle is already having problems breathing (probably because of the altitude). BJ & Tyler drive off and BJ says, “Put on some pants, it’s time to dance!” Michelle is finding it hard to breathe, too, but Monica is thrilled about going to Brazil.1 2 3 4 5 Next-->
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