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The Amazing Race 10: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Episode 9: Rappellantby Mike DeGeorge -- 11/15/2006
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Just about everyone hated at least part of my article last week (except for my fiancée, who enjoyed it, which is one reason out of about four billion that I love her), so let’s see what I can do to piss people off this week.
I don’t know why I just can’t get into this season. Normally at this point, we’re down to it and every episode matters. I’m interested, but it’s almost like I don’t mind if I miss an episode (especially with Jenn’s kickass recaps), and that’s never happened to me with the Race.
It’s not that the producers are doing anything wrong this year. They’ve got decent teams with good backstories, interesting locales, and decent challenges. Yes, I’ve criticized the challenges this year, but they’re nothing that would keep me from watching. It’s one of those instances where the producers are doing everything right, yet it just doesn’t work. I tried to come up with an analogy here, but I couldn’t think of a good one. Anyone has any ideas, let me know.
One problem, I think, is the personalities. No, the producers picked good stories (former drug addicts! Beauty queens! Single Moms!) but they just didn’t turn out to be interesting. Rob & Kimberly looked like the obnoxious arguing couple, but they ended up mellowing out, even though they keep arguing. They’re no Colin & Christie or even Freddie & Kendra. There are no larger than life personalities, either in a bad way (Jonathan, Ian) or a good way (Clowns, Chip). There’s sure as hell no Hippies or Frat Boys.
I think the people with the best stories were eliminated too early. Case in point – Duke & Lauren. They had the chance to be THE best story in Race history, but they didn’t stick around long enough. We never even saw enough of the Muslims to mangle their names.
It also didn’t help that this episode felt like one long equalizer. The biggest separation in the teams happened with a one-hour lag in train departures! I don’t blame them for it, as they needed that sort of closeness for the beginning of next week, but it hurt this week.
Letters from Home: Finally, a “messages from home” segment in a reality show that didn’t annoy the hell out of me. Mainly, it was because they showed two seconds of the clips – enough for us to “meet” the relatives – and moved on. They didn’t even dwell on Dublyn’s angst, letting us see how much they missed their kids, and then we moved on. There was no ten minute segment, no weeping angst except for Dublyn. It was a nice break in the action, and we got back to business. It doesn’t always have to be overly syrupy and dramatic to be effective. Are you listening, Mark Burnett?
Holy Amazing Race, Batman!: Was I the only one riffing on the Batman jokes as the models rappelled down the stadium wall? I almost expected an obscure celebrity to stick their head out of the wall and hand them a clue.
Of course, my fiancee kept saying how stupid it was for them to go down face first. I can't really disagree with that.
I’ll Care When They’re Gone: Dublyn, I mean, and I’ll care because I’ll be happy. These guys are the worst kind of hypocrite, in that they feel sorry for themselves and blame everyone else for their problems but themselves. They criticize the other teams for using their advantages to their… um, advantage, and then do things like yell at ticket agents or burst into cab lines. It amazes me that the Cho Brothers could be friends with these people in the first place.
Baser Instincts: I’m not ashamed to admit that I wish the Beauty Queens had taken the more, shall we say, mud-intensive task. Hey, I know what I like.
Frequent Flyers: Man, how brutal must that Madagascar-Johannesburg-Addis Ababa-Frankfort-Helsinki marathon flight have been? Yeah, I know they can sleep on the flights, but we all know how uncomfortable those seats are, and in my book, sometimes uncomfortable sleep is worse than no sleep at all.
Mike DeGeorge is an Accountant from St. Louis and is also Associate Editor for RealityNewsOnline. You can reach Mike at email@example.com.
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