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The Amazing Race 10: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Episode 10: Don't Do That... That Hurtsby Mike DeGeorge -- 11/21/2006
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I got some great feedback this week – maybe I should complain about my feedback more often! – for which I am grateful. Many noted that the big problem with this season was the high number of equalizers, and when there isn’t, the Back Pack tended to equalize themselves. That means there is no tension as to who will finish in what place anymore.
One reader wants the producers to screw with the racers’ heads more, making certain challenges have twists that don’t let the contestants just search for the flags. This episode was a good start, having to figure out the capital of the Ukraine and read the clue in Russian, but we need much more, much tricker. Whatever they do, she agrees that something needs to be done.
Another reader points out that the face-first rappelling is how it’s done in the military. He thinks the producers just did it that way to freak the racers out. See, we’re off to a good start.
Finally, my favorite email came from a reader named David Wells, and said that the key problem this season has been a distinct lack of tension. The most well-remembered season had Jonathan & Victoria causing tension among racers and viewers alike. I know I tuned in every week not only to see what Jonathan would do next, but in the hope that this would be the week that they would go home.
Last season, whether you liked the Hippies, the Frats, or both, there was the tension that kept on right down to the flag Roadblock. You had no idea who would win, and you wanted to find out. In every other season, you could come up with similar analogies.
What about this season? The only real tension is against Dublyn, and as David said, there’s no chance they’re going to win, so no tension. There was a very real chance that Jonathan & Victoria, or Colin & Christie would actually win the damn thing, and it scared us enough to keep watching.
If the show were somehow cancelled tomorrow and you found out that, say, the models won, would you have any real reaction (aside from the reaction about the show being cancelled)? I think that’s why they’re building up the whole “two women have never won” angle, because they’re desperately reaching for something for us to care about!
Tanks for the Memories: I’ve been pretty harsh on this season about having crappy challenges. While the tank Roadblock didn’t look particularly challenging, it WAS Amazing, and that’s all I ask for.
Oh, Brother: I want to be upset that the Chos were eliminated this week, but like David & Mary, I can’t, mostly because it was their own fault. They were strong racers, but they attached themselves to two pairs of anchors out of friendship. I know they don’t care, or at least that’s what they say, but they would have done much better in the final standings – not to mention not raced in the hind end of the field most of the time – had they gone their own way. Go on home, and let the racers who actually want to win have their shot.
There’s also an excellent chance they would not have been eliminated had they not waited for Dublyn at the Roadblock. While their actions were admirable, I wasn’t thrilled at their reaction to Dublyn taking off. Dublyn didn’t have to follow them just because they waited, nor did Dublyn have the right to get pissy when they chose to follow the Chos. Either way, I’m glad the Back Pack is no more.
Oh, one more thing. I’m going to keep repeating this in the hopes that a future team might read it. If you’ve got a fear of heights, or water, or mud, or whatever, immediately upon hearing that you’re going on the show, set out to conquer that fear before you go! Waiting until you go on the show and hoping you won’t have to face it is either bad planning or cowardice.
I eagerly anticipate the episode where a racer says, “I figured there would be a bungee jump on the race, and I’m deathly afraid of heights. So before we left I bungee jumped ten times, so it was no sweat.” If this has ever happened (if it has, I don’t recall – which means nothing, really) please let me know.
Bitch & Moan: Witness herewith my new nickname for Dublyn, and if you need to ask why, you obviously didn’t watch. They were under no obligation to follow the Chos, and should have gone their own way a lot earlier (saving me a number of times shouting, “Then LEAVE already!”). I’m actually blaming the Chos for this, though. Bitch & Moan neither wanted nor requested the help. What were they going to do, say no? Go ahead without us? Then when they did leave the Chos behind, exactly what they were hoping for, happened. I can’t fault them for taking the advantage that the Chos gave them – even though I suspect the Chos were hoping for a little more help than they actually got. What I WILL fault them for is whining incessantly about it and everything else that happens to them.
I can’t figure out whether Bitch & Moan have a sense of entitlement – as if everyone should make way for them and make life easier for them – or persecution, seeming to blame their troubles on everyone else. Every drop of water that falls on them, every delay, every hardship only ever happens to them. I was waiting for them to complain that they didn’t get wet during the tank Roadblock, twisting it into some sort of disadvantage! The simple fact is, they would be much better off to shut up and run their own race. Yes, they’re in the top four, but does anyone see them as anything nearing a serious threat?
Oh, hell. I just thought of something. When the producers keep hinting at an all-woman team winning this season, what if it’s NOT the Beauty Queens? Oh, geez. This would be worse than Flo. I don’t think I’m ready for the possibility.
I think I need to lie down.
Rappin’ Babushkas: Let’s set aside the fact that rap music is supposedly an integral part of Kiev’s culture and just say how ridiculous that whole Detour option was. The teams looked idiotic, and since it was obvious that the quality of the rap meant nothing, it seems the only point was to humiliate the teams. I know what I’ve said about needle in the haystack Detours before, but there’s no way in hell you could convince me that the rap option was better.
Speaking of lame, how uninspired and uninteresting was the task where they had to find an apartment building? Are they running out of local color after ten seasons? Couldn’t they do this one in the Bronx? “Yeah, I traveled to Kiev and… well, after driving in a tank I… um, well, we knocked on an apartment door.” What do you bet they skip that part when these teams are telling their grandkids about this Race?
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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