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The Amazing Race 8: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Episode 5by Mike DeGeorge -- 11/01/2005
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This doesn’t really fit in any of the categories, so I’ll use it as my pre-show rant. One phrase I’m hearing over and over is, “They finally left the U.S. this week!” Now, regular readers know exactly what I think about them running a race inside the U.S., but let’s just say I don’t have a problem with it.
However, I joined the voices in praise, mainly because I hoped going outside the country would make them a little more creative in their challenges. Turns out that wasn’t the case. You mean to tell me that you couldn’t do bird-watching, instrument-seeking, and baseball-hitting anywhere in the U.S.? And while I’m at it, please find out who came up with “Rhythm and Coos” and flog them, would you?
Basically, the challenges this season have left a lot to be desired. I mean, seeking out a spy? Going to BP? Hey, there have been some good ones, but half the fun of watching this show is seeing the native cultures and seeing the racers experiencing the cultures through the challenges. I just don’t feel that visiting the largest office chair in the world is a good representation of Alabama, you know?
Talkin’ Baseball: Regardless of what I said above, I’m always up for a baseball challenge (unless it’s ruined by a publicity-whore tool like Donald Trump). Having to “get a hit” seemed like a pretty tall task, until you realize that the Little Leaguers were obviously half-assing it. As seriously as they take baseball in Latin America, I’m surprised they agreed to it, but then again, Mark Burnett’s money could probably buy a lot of equipment.
We Might Hit a Home Run: I can’t believe, really, how much I love the Gaghans, especially given my well-earned reputation of hating little kids who are just too cute.
This team faced just about every obstacle this week, from losing out on the roadblock (which, while it proved to be a mistake to wait, I would have waited too considering how much of a sniveler D.J. was being) to Tammy taking a faceplant into the back of a van. But they take everything as a team and never fail to support each other – especially the kids.
My girlfriend calls this show The Amazing Whine. It’s telling, though, that the only team she really likes are the Gaghans. They should be proud of that.
Comic Relief: The Linzes didn’t do much to talk about this week, but once again one of the boys provided the best line of the show (and one that I repeated to at least three people) about confusing Panama the country with Panama, Florida.
In a perfect world, we’d have the Gaghans, the Linzes, and the Bransens fighting it out in the finale. I’ve seen enough of this show to know that you have to have a villain in the finals. I just don’t know if I like what that means.
And to people who made fun of one of the brothers for not understanding Spanish – trust me, what they teach in school does nothing to prepare you for visiting a foreign country. I took four years of Spanish, and when we went to Mexico City, it was absolutely no help. They talk so fast that I couldn’t even pick out words.
The Weavers. Again: Yeah, they’re back to the bad, where they belong, and until they visit another NASCAR track, they’re not going to leave. I gave them a chance and even gave them credit where credit was due, and they still don’t seem to learn.
And by the way, this goes out especially to all those sanctimonious jerks who told me after the firs two weeks to back off the Weavers and give them a chance. I gave them a chance, and the Weavers proved me right. And I’ve yet to get a “you were right” email, much less an apology. But then, why should I expect any differently? You’re all as hypocritical as the Weavers, aren’t you?
In any case, my beef with the Weavers this week is once again their hypocrisy. When one of the Linz boys was heckling Rolly during the baseball roadblock, she brought the righteous fury of Jesus down upon them and told them not to be rude, that they should be nothing but supportive. Okay, so what do you call ignoring people in airports and yelling at other teams’ drivers to go slow?
I’m all for dirty play. I was actively rooting for Rob & Amber last season precisely because he played the game like a scumbag. But the important thing is, Rob freely admitted what he was and really didn’t care if anyone else liked it or not. Don’t make alliances, be rude to the other teams, see if I care. Just don’t expect anyone to be nice to you in return. Mom Weaver expects to play by different rules than anyone else, and that just doesn’t fly with me.
Maybe I’ll try it. God, please let the Weavers lose in the next episode. And just to show how much You hate them, make it humiliating.
Non-Elimination: I only REALLY started watching this show around AR5, catching an episode of the show here and there in the previous three seasons. But I really hated the idea of taking all the money away from the teams in non-elimination legs. For one, it gave us the inevitable boring “borrowing money from people” montage at the beginning of the next episode. For another, it never seemed to be a real disadvantage, as it always seemed like the racers didn’t have to spend much money on the next leg.
But last season they started taking all their possessions, which I suppose is meant to be taking it to the next level. I think it’s just dumb. This is a race around the world, not Survivor. Why should a team have to run around in the same stinky pair of drawers just to create drama? Is it really that much of a disadvantage?
But that brings me to my final point. It’s not dramatic. Not past the first two minutes of the next episode, anyway. We’re not tuning in this week to see if the Godlewskis will be able to overcome this crippling handicap. We just want to see the race. It’s just like I’ve said about other shows – just let them go and let the drama come. All these fake attempts to create drama (Big Brother, I’m talking to you!) ultimately fall flat on their face.
He Loves You, Yeah, Yeah: I’m continually surprised by how many people claim to love the Paolos. What is there to love about them? These are the type of people that should be shunned, not celebrated.
I’m not the most sentimental lovey type, but I guarantee you that both of my parents know without a shadow of a doubt that I love them. If your mother goes on national television and questions whether or not you love her, you should hide your head in shame and never show your worthless face in public again and be spurned from society.
Ugly Americans: This mainly relates to the Weavers. Yeah, shock, I know. Every year, the race goes to a Latin American country. And every year, one of the teams insists on yelling “andelay, andelay!” at the cab drivers like they were Speedy Gonzalez or something. And every year, I want to reach through the screen and smack them.
Mike DeGeorge is an Accountant from St. Louis and is also Associate Editor for RealityNewsOnline. You can reach Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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