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Amazing Race 17 – Episode 2 Commentary – I Just Kissed an Englishman In A Tractor


Sorry for the delay everyone – this week got a lot busier than I anticipated. However, I want to get something out there about this week’s Race, primarily because a rather beloved team was eliminated, one which I fly against the grain on. Based on comments I have seen online, it appears that not since BJ/Tyler have more people liked a team I did not.

Let me first of all say that one of my biggest complaints about this team is actually addressed in the Elimination Station and deleted scenes videos on CBS.com. Andie seems to go to great lengths to talk about how amazing Jenna’s adopted family is, and how she is the woman she is today thanks to them. That is true – parenting is the act of parenting, not the act of conception or the process of childbirth. Also, before I get too harsh on them, I give mad props to Andie for having the courage to go through with a pregnancy and adoption when she really didn’t have to do that. I am pro-choice, and this is not a commentary on the very difficult and nuanced issue of abortion – but I think both sides can agree that it takes great courage and strength for a woman to carry a child for nine months, give birth to, and then give up a child.

And by the way, she made up for it by having 10 kids of her own! Damn, Andie – find a hobby!

As I stated last week, my problem with them was twofold – 1) It is alien to me as an adopted child to have any desire to see or know my birth mother. Mad props to her as well – I literally owe my life to her – but she’s a total stranger and should remain that way for me, for her, and for both of our families. I also find it a bit distasteful that they used this marginal connection to go on a reality show and exploit that connection. And 2) They are two really, really boring people to watch on television. I am sure they are totally amazing to know in real life, but on screen, like watching rice boil.

So, given the choice at the end of losing them, perky Mallory, the hot doctors, Team Gryffindor, or the Tattoo Duo, it was a clear preference to lose the Yawn Girls.

As far as the episode – not the most compelling Race leg ever, but still quite solid. Going to Ghana was interesting, as we have yet to go there. With 16 previous Races and over 200 legs in the books, it is nice to go somewhere new. Even though it is hard to forgive Ghana for the World Cup this year. At least Super Genius Thomas is pretty sure it is Africa.

One unexpected development has been going on so far – I am starting to like Brooke. I like her enthusiasm, and it hasn’t annoyed more than amused so far. I like her kiss strategy – one that only would work for friendly, attractive blonde women. It is a safer strategy than Mallory who seems to want to steal African babies a la Madonna. Brooke rocked her challenges, including climbing right up on the fridge to install the TV cables.

Just like every trip to the Third World, we get the reactions of teams in their cabs to the poverty. Telling moments – Chad focuses on the trash, Claire on the people, and Jill will be playing the part of Kendra this season. When the beggars come to the window – Jonathan withers, Mallory has a crisis of conscience, and Andie just gives over some of her money. How can you resist that face, indeed. In addition, there are some real adventures in taxis – as KNat almost collides with a bus, and later on they have a driver who seems to invent a traffic lane.

ROADBLOCK – Selling sunglasses, with the key being that you cannot sell them for less than three cedi, with $15 being your goal. Brooke is a natural and is hysterical. “You look like a gansta or a rapper” – which is borderline racist, but manages to stay on the side of charming rather than offensive, at least to me. Another looked like a supermodel. You can see that she is in the right business, girlfriend can sell. Chad tries to use his charms, but he is basically reduced to begging. Meanwhile, Kat and Jill are simply awful at it – Jill being the worst as she is there a looooong time. Surprisingly awesome…Connor and Michael. And as for Nick – he just got jacked for some sunglasses.

One thing on the Roadblock, those Ghananian marketgoers were really getting into this challenge, weren’t they? They did dances, they mocked the Racers, they withheld money, they offer to buy all of Mallory’s sunglasses and then just take one.


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