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The Amazing Race 8 Insiders, Mat Chats and Phil’s Diary, Episode 1: Flirting, Families, Fun, and Frenzyby Heathyr Fields Ford -- 10/03/2005
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Keeping with reality TV’s premise of “shaking it up is good,” The Amazing Race includes families of four this time. When I first heard about it, I felt it would be neat, figuring one or two adults (i.e. the parental figures) and two or three kids. Then the teams were released, and I discovered that “family” to CBS was open to a wider range of interpretation than might be fair. We have a few teams that match my expectations, but many of the teams consist of four adults who are related in some way. Sure, they’re still family, but it seems to skew the things a bit. After watching the first episode, though, I’m hooked again, so, fair or not, AR is back and it’s fun!
Part of that fun for me is watching what doesn’t make the editing cuts. Each week, I’ll be recapping the various video clips that can be found on the CBS website. Come join me for some insider info and hopefully some extra laughs along the way!
Phil’s Diary - Nothing Salacious Here!: Phil speaks about AR’s huge popularity with families. It is a primetime show that families can watch together without parents feeling they need to cover their kids’ eyes. He tells us a grandmother stopped him in the airport the day before to thank him and tell him how she watches the show with her grandkids. Phil explains to us that it doesn’t rely on salacious material to entertain. [This is true, but I think the wrestler chick’s comment about freezing her implants on AR6 will remain with me for years to come!]
Since families watch, it makes sense to have families compete. As Phil accurately points out, dynamics change drastically when you go from two people to four people. Watching them make decisions should get interesting. He says the families are very diverse, with different ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, political, and religious lines. With all these people, decision-making should reach new levels. He envisions arguments erupting over how to open the envelope.
Phil likens Amazing Race 8: Family Edition to a science experiment. You have all these ingredients, and you know they will do something, but you’re not quite sure what. I agree, Phil, and you can raise that eyebrow at me any time while I watch your experiment!
Calm, Cool, and Collected: The Bransen sisters discuss focusing on what they are doing, not watching other teams, because that will only stress them out. They conclude that they did a good job. One worries that they will get distracted watching everyone else, and they need to focus on themselves.
Brotherly Love: One of my favorite teams, the Linz siblings, are having a “discussion” in the SUV about how to find Washington’s Crossing. The sister is wisely staying out of it, while the three brothers go back and forth on their different opinions. One feels they need a map. The other two are trying to help him understand why what he is thinking is wrong. Fortunately, this is all good-natured bickering. Finally the sister tells them all to shut up. I really hope they pull it together and get back up there. I enjoy their interplay a lot. Oh, and the brothers discussing the “pink ladies” and flirting with them in the actual episode - absolutely classic.
Different, but the Same: The Godlewski sisters speak with the Linz siblings. They appear to be discussing route situations, but since the sisters’ mode of speech includes running over each other left and right, I don’t even try to follow it. What I do follow is that one brother is especially flirting and moving closer to one pink lady. She is laughing and touching him on the shoulder. It’s amusing, really. Then the Linz sister makes a remarkable discovery. The Godlewskis are a family of seven - six sisters and one brother. The Linz family consists of six brothers and one sister. They could all intermarry and be one big, talking-over-each-other family!
America the Beautiful: The dad of the Black family shares how patriotic the first day’s trip was. The place was very patriotic, he says, and so were the people. He shares with us that there were people helping them left and right. They even had people get into cars and lead them to places. If the theme today was patriotism, Dad Black expounds, that is what they got today. Even at the park, the other racers helped them set up the tent. They seem genuinely touched by this. America is beautiful, he says; they thank America for helping them get where they are. Aw, I liked this family. I’m going to miss them.
Even in Louisiana it’s a Bad Joke: Dad Rogers is trying to tell a joke, and it is so bad, I’m embarrassed to even type it here. When geese fly in a V, why is one side longer than the other? Because one side has more geese. See why I was embarrassed?
Never Say Never: The Rogerses are trying to read out a map and talking about how they were never going to do an alliance coming into the game, but now they have one with the Schroeders. They decide they can have an alliance until the final three, and then all bets are off. Are they thinking they are on Survivor? The daughter says at three left, they can stomp on the Schroeders. Spoken like a true Christian. Sorry, Denny’s need to shove God and his beliefs out there right in his first sentence irritated me, and I haven’t gotten over it since. Anyway, next clip!
Close Shave: The Rogerses yet again. This time, they are in the vehicle, discussing who would shave his or her head if the race called for it. The daughter refuses. Of course, she’s a teenage girl and, I find out later, a pageant sort of chick. She wants that hair. The mother finally extracts from her that she will shave her head if she’s guaranteed to win it all. Heh. Good luck.1 2 3 Next-->
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