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Amazing Race 16, Ep. 1 Commentary – Come On Dude, Nana’s Kicking Your Butt


Welcome to the 16th Amazing Race, this one populated with more people making dumb decisions as ever before. Seriously, it was as if they just went into a few Wal-Marts and found the people who couldn’t figure out which aisle to find the chips. It was as if they went to the local Tea Party
Meeting and asked them to explain why they opposed health care reform.

These Racers made so many goofy decisions it made Evan Bayh’s decision to retire seem sane and rational.

Let’s divide this analysis into sections of stupidity.

Jet and Cord – The cowboy brothers seem a likable, if rather vanilla, pair of good ole boys. Much more likable than Jerry Jones. However, I don’t care how deep into isolation you have been with the horses and bulls; there are certain things you should know. One is that Chile and Brazil are two different countries. Interesting that two guys who have won “world” championships in rodeo seem to think that South America is one nebulous Pangaea.

So the cowboys elect to exchange money in LAX (not LA X – They would need to avoid a fugitive Kate if that were the case.) There is nothing wrong with this decision. However, when the bank agent tells them that they don’t have Chilean money, that’s when it gets dumb rather rapidly. The correct response would be to say, “Thank you for checking,” then put your money away and exchange in Santiago. The boys elect to ask for money from a nearby country, Brazil in this case. Because most countries accept currency from neighboring countries. Next time you try and take a bus from Chicago to Detroit, try using Canadian money.

Brent and Caite – Let’s say it right now and get it officially out of the way – Caite made one of the most moronic statements made on television not uttered by an NBC executive. In her own words, she says she spoke during the Miss Teen USA pageant before she had a sentence formed in her head. With all due respect, I’m not sure if that would have really made a huge difference. That sentence needed Bionic Woman or Robocop technology to resurrect it from the Moron Hall of Fame.

So, like a George W. Bush debate, the bar for success is rather low for Caite.
A later clue requires them to take a funicular transport down the mountain. Despite having taken a page from not Sarah Palin and written notes on their hands to remind them to read their clues, they elect to walk down the mountain. That drops them to seventh place from their second place arrival even though Caite thinks they really finished second.

Jordan and Jeff – OK, so based on her inability to tell time with clocks (as opposed to telling time with fish, I guess) she thinks Chile and China are the same place. Or she thinks they are going to Guatemala, China. It was kind of hard to follow her logic there. She even runs up to the ticket agent and desperately asks for a ticket to China. It would have been amazingly awesome if the agent sold them tickets to Hong Kong.

Steve and Allie – The father/daughter team was not given a robust edit, but they did have a doozy of an error. Required to lug some cans of paint, brushes and a ladder through the city streets in search of some Race-provided house painting projects, they manage to find a house being painted on the inside. Basically, they wandered into a home improvement project. The men inside are understandably baffled by the strange Americans wandering in to finish their job. Ironically, if you wandered into a house painting project in most American cities, you would probably confuse the Spanish-speaking workers as well.

The workers comment in Spanish – “Look, I don’t know what they are doing here.” And when the Racers actually finish painting, “That is ugly. They don’t know how to paint.” The look on their faces when Allie asks for a clue is priceless.

Monique and Shawne – Not too much stupid and crazy, just insane religious comments. While lugging the ladder around Chile, one of them compares their ordeal to what Jesus went through. Now since I don’t recall the part of the New Testament where Jesus and John the Baptist competed in an 11-team race around the Middle East, I assume they are comparing carrying a ladder to Jesus’s crucifixion. You know, the pain and suffering from the Passion of the Christ compared to jet lag. Now, if the Race producers required teams to nail themselves to the ladder, well, that would be a different show altogether.

I am debating using the nickname, The Claires, for this team. Still trying to decide if I think that’s funny or not.


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