Category Archives: Racing

Amazing Race, Season 28 – Bros Being Dudes Coming in 1st and 2nd

TAR031116There were two things that came to mind while watching The Amazing Race this week. One thought was that that producers should try to make the challenges and locations seem a little more pleasant. This week they were really cold and were doing such frightening things that it makes me wonder how many people were raising their hand this week to sign up.

The other thing that struck me is that they really need to put the cold weather locations later in the season. We had a cold weather climate last week as well. Both times they were wearing different outfits. When it’s earlier in the season and you’re still learning the teams, it’s hard to tell who is who when they’re all bundled up.

I guess there were more things that bothered me than I originally thought. In addition to the above, CBS needs to do a better job with their On Demand viewing. They run a premium service from their network meaning if I want to see last week’s episode, it’s free. But if I want to see this week I have to subscribe to a monthly fee. I already pay for cable; I am not going to subscribe to network TV just that I can stream current episodes.

The reason I was looking to do this? I did DVR the show, but coverage of the protest at the Trump rally interrupted the first few minutes of the show, so I missed the very beginning, tuning in to see the teams changing clothes into ultra warm weather gear with one of the guys claiming that he’s wearing hammer pants.

Bros Being Dudes

After the teams change their clothes, they get a clue to find the license plate of a car. Once found they travel in the car to find a gondola station. This takes them to the highest mountain in Central Europe. They need to board a gondola with a mountain guide and a backpack of gear to take them up to their next clue.

Between the leading two teams – Tyler and Korey and Brodie & Kurt – they start talking about the movie Alive and decide if it comes down to eating each other, they’ll eat Tyler first because he’s easiest to cook and tender. They also decide they are “bros being dudes.”

At the top of a mountain they have to zipline across to another mountain to get their next clue. This gives them a Detour of either delivering dynamite and a baguette to crews working on the mountain or building a campsite for the crews working on the mountain.

I’ll Just Have the Baguette for Lunch

Just in case it wasn’t bad enough that they are in the freezing cold, they have to zipline from the highest mountain in Central Europe. And if they survive all that, then they can choose to carry dynamite around with them. And a baguette. No thanks. I checked out at the first sign of cold. Even Tyler says it seems like something humans shouldn’t be doing. Erin and Joslyn misunderstand “lunch,” and even though they already have a baguette, nearly steal someone’s lunch trying to find “lunch.”

Burnie and Ashley loose their clue down the mountain in a big gust of wind and snow. They have to go back across the zipline to get another clue. Luckily for them there appear to be extras. Otherwise, what would they have done? On top of that they decide to do the Campsite challenge since no one else is doing it. They have to improvise when one of the pegs is broken and then have to spend a lot of time shoveling show onto the sides of the tent to build a barrier.

Lookin’ for a Yeti

For the Roadblock one person form each team needs to paraglide along with an experienced pilot, and at the end of the excursion, repeat what they saw while flying over. It’s a yeti waving a French flag. Hopefully they remember the flags from last week’s challenge.

Brodie is the first to try paragliding. They aren’t able to take off as he falls flat on his face in the snow. This gives Korey a shot at doing it and taking over first place. He does it successfully. Brodie gets it on his second attempt.

The first team to end up on the mat is Tyler and Korey with Brodie and Kurt right behind them. The last three teams to hit the Roadblock are Sheri and Cole, Burnie and Ashley, and Erin and Joslyn. Their finishing order depends on what wind strength they can catch and if they are able to take off and not fall flat on their faces.

Too many times falling do Erin in, and she and Joslyn finish in last place. Phil Keoghan eliminates them there on the mat. Even still they consider themselves blessed to have the jobs they do and to have competed on The Amazing Race together.

Image Credit: YouTube Video

Amazing Race, Season 28 – Breaking the Cardinal Rules

imageI don’t know what it is about this particular group of contestants on The Amazing Race this season, but it’s episode four, and I’m still having a hard time keeping them apart and remembering their names.

In addition to that, since they’re all Internet stars, my guess is that they’re not all big fans of the the show. This means they don’t know the tried and true rules to playing this game. One of those rules is that you never take the counting Detours. Another is that you don’t take the “Needle in the Haystack” Detours. There’s always a difficult element in them that you don’t see; that’s why something that seems so easy gets incredibly hard. Yet another rule is that you have to remember you’re playing a game, and these people aren’t your friends.

Blodie

The other troubling aspect among these teammates is the showmance that’s brewing. All the teams got bunched up on the same flight from Cartagena, Colombia to Geneva, Switzerland, meaning it was the first time they’ve all been together since the very beginning.

Brodie, who is partnered with Kurt, is excited to talk to Blair, who is partnered with her father Scott, for the first time. The other contestants notice the showmance, especially Tyler and Korey, and Tyler just won’t let it go.

Tyler coins the showmance “Blodie” and says it often throughout the show. Korey suggests that Tyler be the flower girl at the wedding. While everyone is camping out together waiting for their next challenge, Blodie cuddle together with a blanket over them. And Tyler and Korey are right there hovering over them.

Never Take the Counting Challenge

For the Detour, they’re given the choice of assembling Swiss Army knives or counting how many people will fit on a very, very long bench. Even though it seems difficult, the knife is the better challenge. It’s better than testing your luck counting. Nevertheless, the majority of the teams choose that challenge.

To count how many people will fit on the bench, the teams hold newspapers and sit next to each other with the papers touching. Then the first person gets up and moves to the other side of the second person, and then the second person gets up and moves to other side. They continue this until they have covered the whole bench.

Brittany and Jessica are behind from the start because they couldn’t find the challenge. They were looking for the Swiss Army knife Detour. They found the bench one and decided to just do that instead. They ended up being the last team and just couldn’t get the number right no matter what they did. Again, it’s not easy, and that’s why it’s a challenge. Eventually they get it right and have to play catchup.

Don’t Look for Help If You’re in Last Place

For the Roadblock, the teams end up at the United Nations. One member of each team needs to match the right flag to ten different countries. The flags are all displayed in rows in front of the building, and there’s a display case that shows all of the country names with the ten countries in the challenge highlighted in gold. They’re each given a book with all the flags, and they need to pull out the ones they need.

The contestants working on the Roadblock are trying to guess at which flags they need, and Korey figures there is probably some type of key or map to help them. Suddenly he realizes that the flagpoles are all in the same order as the countries in the display case. That’s the key he was looking for.

Korey teams up with Matt to get these figured out as quickly as they can. Then the other teams all start to pair up as well. Korey gets it wrong the first time, leaving Bernie as the first one to finish.

Finally Brittany and Jessica arrive with Jessica doing the challenge. She’s upset that all the teams are working in small groups and no one wants to work with her. What she’s forgetting is the rule that this is still a game. She’s so far behind that they all know they are safe if she stays behind. Of course no one is going to help her.

How Many Trains Does It Take to Get to France?

As the teams finish the Roadblock, they are sent on a train to Charmonix, France, where Phil Keoghan will be waiting at the center of town. But the train doesn’t go straight there. They have to transfer to a different train at some point.

All the teams are on two different trains heading to France. Jessica finally finishes and they hop on a third train. Those on the second train are hoping that in their layover transferring between trains that Brittany and Jessica don’t catch up to them. They watch them actually standing on the platform as the train pulls away. Somehow all teams end up on the same train together after the transfer, except Brittany and Jessica.

This means it’s a mad dash off the train for who can run faster to get to Phil and be team number one. Brodie and Kurt make it there first, with Tyler and Korey right on their heels. Phil says it happened one time before where that many teams ended up on the mat at the same time. It was in the All Stars season.

Eventually Brittany and Jessica, also known as “The Models,” make it to the mat and are eliminated. Too many things happened on that leg for them to survive it.

Always, always, always, on The Amazing Race, remember the cardinal rules.

Image Credit: YouTube Video

The Amazing Race, Mar. 23 – Risky Choices

This is what makes The Amazing Race such a joy to watch. There are so many things possible to eliminate you. One tiny slip-up, and you’re done. This week, however, it wasn’t a slip-up so much as chance and risks.

Margie and Luke and Brendan and Rachel, after the difficult time they had on the Detour last week, were at the back of the pack. They missed out on getting tickets on the non-stop flight to Sri Lanka. There was a flight with a connection, but only a thirty-minute layover, and little chance of making it. Or they could try to get on the flight via standby.

Brenchel pleaded with the ticketing agents to allow them on the flight with the connection, while mother and son chose to try standby. That was there undoing as they couldn’t get on the flight, and the flight with the connection had already left, meaning they were stuck taking a flight several hours later. It worked out better for Brenchel, as they ran to catch their flight and just made it after hearing the Final Boarding announcement.

Not that Margie and Luke chose wrong. Both of the options carried risks, and it just happened that the one they chose was the one that didn’t work. During a difficult Roadblock, it almost seemed like they might catch up, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

Flight Time and Big Easy, aka the Harlem Globetrotters, had a challenge custom-made for them. They lucked out having a challenge that involved spinning an instrument on top of a stick as they danced. It was similar to the tricks they do when playing basketball. Flight Time then entertained the seamstresses during the Roadblock with a basketball he pulled out of nowhere.

Jet and Cord took lost their lead on this leg, mostly because of their fishing skills. And their lack of seamstress skills did nothing to help them out.

Brendon and Rachel’s flight actually ended up landing before the non-stop flight carrying the others, but they lost the lead while waiting for the Temple to open up. They also had a speed bump to perform yet still came in second to last.

Caroline and Jennifer are trying hard to pair up with the Cowboys. While the guys had given them their Express Pass a few weeks ago, now they have found a reason to glom onto them as Caroline excitedly said, “We like to be near the Cowboys because they’re magical,” then reminded them of her stalker/fan status.

Dave and Connor continue to do extremely well. They were the first ones done with the Detour, then Connor did well with the Roadblock. Of course he was helped out by the fact that he’d taken a sewing class in junior high. He also teamed up with Jennifer as sticking close to the Cowboys was apparently forgotten.

Jessica and John struggled in the Detour. They were having such a hard time catching fish that they switched Detours and got the spinning and dancing done fairly quickly, although they’re still at the back of the pack with only Brenchel and the Globetrotters behind them.

Leo and Jamal stayed the same. The Afghanimals were relatively quiet on this leg of the Race. It’s odd for them. They fell out of third place into fourth.

The racers were sent to Sri Lanka via three separate flights. Once there they had to enter a temple for some meditation. When they were finished they were sent to the Detour. They had a choice of sitting on top of stilts in the water and fishing or doing a choreographed dance while spinning circular instruments on top of sticks. Both of them carried a degree of difficulty.

Brendon and Rachel had to complete a Speed Bump after this before continuing on to the Roadblock. They were required to screenprint a number of t-shirts to perfection. They weren’t allowed to be sloppy at all. Rachel had a slight advantage with this as she had experience with screenprinting.

The Roadblock was a sewing challenge. One member of each team had to sew together a button-down shirt with a sewing machine. When it was approved, they would then get their next clue imprinted on the shirt. Rachel insisted that Brendon do it, while the other females in mixed teams did the challenge. Big Easy regretted saying he would do it, but he’s been having problems with his height on some challenges, so it was good for him to do this one where his height wouldn’t cause a problem.

We didn’t even get to see Margie and Luke compete in the Detour and Roadblock. For a few seconds it almost seemed like they might catch up, but that wasn’t to be. We did get to see their elimination. They had the right attitude here, thankful for being able to participate in The Amazing Race three times.

The Amazing Race, Mar. 9 – Mixing It Up

These are the challenges I like to see – not necessarily physically demanding, but difficult to accomplish so that it has an impact on the game. Neither the Roadblock or the Detour was a slam dunk for anyone. It made the hours much more exciting.

Also leading to some excitement were the flights to Kuala Lumpur. There were only three. The first flight could carry three teams and the second only two, placing the remaining three teams on the next flight. However, the second flight carrying the Globetrotters and Luke and Margie was delayed. It arrived just about the same time as the third flight.

The Brenchel haters almost got what they were waiting for as the reality show veterans came in last place, but the luck of the Irish was wish them so close to St. Patrick’s Day. It was a non-elimination leg of the Race. They will have a speed bump to contend with on the next leg.

Flight Time and Big Easy, aka the Harlem Globetrotters, continue to stay middle of the road. Big Easy finally did a Roadblock. Since it was jumping up to grab a flag, this was something his size was finally meant for.

Jet and Cord took over the lead for the second time in the Race. This is despite struggling a little in the Detour and the Roadblock. Certainly height played a difference for Cord on the Roadblock. Nonetheless, the Cowboys always find a way to stay near or at the top.

Brendon and Rachel should be thanking their lucky stars for the non-elimination leg. Despite being known as a whiner and a cryer, it was Rachel who insisted they not quit the Detour. She insisted they stick with it until they got it, even though they were far behind and in last place. Oddly though, we found out she wears pantyhose under her racing clothes. I’m not sure why. He coined the phrase smarter not harder on this leg.

Caroline and Jennifer did well on this leg, not depending on anyone to help them out. They did well on the Detour as well as the Roadblock and went from sixth place to fourth place.

Dave and Connor struggled a bit on the Detour, yet still came in second place. They went from first place to second.

Margie and Luke – Luke had a near breakdown during the Detour. Who calmed him down? It wasn’t Margie, but Rachel. She and Brendon left their own struggles at the Detour to come over and encourage Luke. Margie and Luke also talked about when he came out to her. She had already guessed it.

Jessica and John continue to do nothing special. They did well on the Detour, though. However, they’re only in fifth place.

Leo and Jamal stayed the same. They are racing well, but they can’t seem to displace the Cowboys or Dave and Connor to take first place.

The racers were met with a Roadblock right out of the gate. One person from each team had to jump on a bamboo trampoline being held by several locals. The goal was to grab a flag they would hand in for the clue. Cord, not the tallest of guys, struggled a little, but eventually got it. He tried forty-seven times before he got it.

The clue received after the Roadblock sent the teams to the airport to fly to Kuala Lumpur. Here they found a Detour that provided two tough choices. Either pour drinks or scratch a record mimicking what they hear to the beat. Most teams that tried the scratching did okay, but the Globetrotters had to try three times before they got it.

It was the pouring of drinks that stymied the racers, even the bartender and waitress in the bunch. Martini glasses were arranged in a two-level pyramid. Tumblers were then stacked and yellow and red liquid poured in them alternating between the colors. Picking up that whole stack, teams had to the pour this into the glasses without mixing the colors. Everyone who tried it struggled, mostly Margie and Luke and Brenchel.

What did you think of the episode? Were you happy or unhappy to see the non-elimination with Brendon and Rachel standing there? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.

The Amazing Race, Mar. 9 – Raft-Building 101

After the heartbreak of last week’s episode, it was good to see them get back to business again this week. Sure, no one wanted to say goodbye to Joey and Meghan, but their elimination just wasn’t nearly as heartbreaking as Mark and Mallory’s. Yet they still had a big looming mistake hovering over them at elimination.

Joey and Meghan started in the back of the pack and never moved from that spot. This was aided somewhat by the flights. There were two flights to carry the teams to Malaysia, and they were three hours apart. Only the first six teams got the earlier flight, leaving the remaining three for the later flight.

As Rachel rightfully predicted, this meant they weren’t racing for first place, but were racing to not be eliminated. Along with Joey and Meghan and Brendon and Rachel, John and Jessica were also in the back of the pack. Three hours is just too much time to overcome. Making it worse, Joey and Meghan didn’t ask a cab driver to wait for them after the Roadblock and had to walk quite a distance, putting them assuredly in the back of the pack, right where they started, and right where they ended.

Luke and Margie had some difficulty, but still did well. As she pointed out on the raft challenge, they were at a disadvantage. They converse with each other with their hands. So when she’s steering the raft in the front, and he’s in the back, they had no way of communicating with each other. Not surprisingly, after three seasons of TAR, Luke calls this Detour the most difficult that he and his mother have faced.

Flight Time and Big Easy, aka the Harlem Globetrotters, are doing well too. Fight Time did yet another Roadblock, knowing it was easier because of his size. He’s done all three so far. Big Easy needs to get in there and do some.

Jet and Cord are up near the lead again. While they came in sixth last week, this week they’re in second place after coming in first the first week. They still have their Express Pass and are glad the second one has been taken out of play after they gave it to the Country Singers who used it right away last week.

Brendon and Rachel had a big FAIL on this leg. They started out in first place, but will start the next leg in last place. Their cab hit some bad traffic on the way to the airport, and they got there in seventh place, just a few minutes too late to catch the earlier flight. They also struggled in the raft challenge. Their raft got stuck and so did Rachel.

Caroline and Jennifer came in sixth place after starting out in third. They were in ninth place the first week. Jennifer hit the bird right away on the Detour. It almost seemed like it wasn’t her first time with a large pea-shooter.

Dave and Connor came in first on this leg, despite making a big mistake. They overshot their destination on their raft. Rather than try to raft back there, they reached their destination on foot, losing valuable time, yet still came in first. This shows what they can do when he has two good ankles.

Jessica and John continue to do nothing special. On the first two legs they came in eighth, and on this one they came in seventh. They’re just barely squeaking by and don’t have the benefit of an Express Pass to not use.

Leo and Jamal must have gotten a lot of flak after their first season on the Race. They have decided to help people this time instead of lying to them. Gee, what a concept. Jet and Cord asked where they were to make the delivery and the Afghanimals gave them the correct answer.

After flying to Malaysia, the teams were presented with a Roadblock. One person from each team had to rappel down a waterfall and grab a club halfway down. No one had any big problems, although Cord missed the clue originally. This Roadblock didn’t alter the lineup much at all.

The next clue sent them to a raging river for a Detour. Teams had to build their own raft of long bamboo polls, make their way down the river that at some times was raging, then go to their chosen Detour, either the delivery of food or shooting fake birds out of trees with a huge pea shooter. Again, this didn’t do much to change the lineup, although some teams definitely struggled in the river. Many rafts came apart because of badly tied knots.

Joey and Meghan, already at the back of the pack, just didn’t have a chance after the mistake of not having the cab stick around and wait for them. No one else made a big enough mistake to allow the You-Tubers to catch up. John and Jessica might not be too far behind them.

What did you think of the episode? Do you think it was smart of the Afghanimals to help the Cowboys? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.

The Amazing Race, Mar. 2 – Heartbreaking

Last night’s episode of The Amazing Race was completely heartbreaking. Mark and Bopper were such emotional favorites in their first season, and to have Bopper be told the night before the Race began that he had a disease that would prevent him from racing, then be told the following day that they had found a new partner for him was a huge emotional roller coaster. This week it didn’t get any easier for Mark and his new partner Mallory.

Mark and Mallory made it out of the Roadblock quickly, overtaking the lead. He put that kids’ car together in record time. He knew that going into it, though, that if it was putting something mechanical together, he had it. But their lead didn’t last long.

Since Mark had to carry the huge kids’ car, he asked Mallory to carry his backpack for him. She did, and once they were getting into a cab, she just set it down on the ground by Mark’s feet without saying anything, as if he was just supposed to know that’s what she was doing with it.

Once they had driven away, the two realized they didn’t have Mark’s backpack. Mallory wanted him to just forget about his backpack. He insisted on getting it back, as he had medications in there, not to mention all his clothes. She made the mistake of leaving the backpack there, then expected him to do without. I’m sure she would have felt differently if it was her backpack containing all her makeup.

Mark and Mallory continued on and delivered the kids’ car, then went back and got the backpack, then went to the Detour. They had a chance, as there were still teams working their way through a game that was called Featherball. Groups of people would stand in a circle and kick the shuttlecock back and forth. The challenge was to create a volley of ten kicks without it falling on the ground. Mark and Mallory had a chance, but couldn’t get it going in time and were the last to come in and were eliminated.

Luke and Margie continue to do well. He’s still pulling her along, yet on the car-building challenge she rocked. She put that thing together very quickly. She must have some experience from Christmas when Luke was younger. That was always the worst part to me. After your kids open everything up, then you need to put it all together.

Flight Time and Big Easy, aka the Harlem Globetrotters, did well. Any time a challenge involves the word “ball,” they’re probably going to do well. They just needed to pretend the shuttlecock was a basketball and do the same type of tricks, but we didn’t get to see too much of them playing Featherball.

Jet and Cord went from first to last at one point. While they came in first last week, and started first this week, they misunderstood a local’s hand signals. He was telling them it would be a fifty-minute walk to the Roadblock, but they thought he was saying fifteen. The Cowboys ended up arriving at the challenge as the last team.

Brendon and Rachel continue to do well. They went from second place to being first on Phil Keoghan’s mat this week. I know many people don’t like Rachel, but you’re probably in it for the long haul with her. The girl is a big competitor and keeps playing until she wins. And hey, there was no crying or whining this week.

Caroline and Jennifer could have been stuck in last and saved Mark and Mallory from being eliminated, but instead they finagled the second Express Pass from the Cowboys. The guys really didn’t want to have to deal with it and don’t see the country singers as threats, so gave it up to them. However, then “the blondes” ended up reaching the pit stop before the Cowboys.

Dave and Connor are in the middle of the pack and doing well. They weren’t the focus of this episode at all, as he still has two good ankles.

Jessica and John were struggling in the car-building challenge. Actually he was doing the Roadblock, so he was struggling. Meghan figured hers out, then came over to help him. It was pointed out that they helped each other out back in season 22 as well.

Joey and Meghan are in last place, but they’re still in it. They could have been up at least one spot, but she helped out old pals Jessica and John. Good karma will hopefully keep them around.

Leo and Jamal are in the middle of the pack, and weren’t focused on in this episode at all, which is quite a change of pace for them. Usually there’s a big focus on the Afghanimals.

There was no big travel to erase leads. The teams stayed in China. Their first clue had them finding a group practicing tai chi. Once they found the master, he stamped their next clue onto their foreheads. This left the teams asking locals for directions to what was stamped onto their foreheads.

The forehead clue sent teams to the Chinese version of a Chuck E. Cheese to build a child-size car in a Roadblock. The thought here is that it would be hard to concentrate with screaming kids all over, but it really didn’t trip up too many people other than John.

The teams were then sent to another business to deliver the car they built and get another clue. This took them to a park to play Featherball. It seemed very frustrating for them, as sometimes they would get as far as nine volleys, then they’d miss the tenth one and have to start over. Once they made it, it was a quick run to the pit stop.

By the end of the episode, though, it was just an overall feeling of heartbreak for Mark and Mallory. It would be hard to compete in this Race with someone you just met. You have to rely so much on communication, quick communication. Much of it is accomplished by knowing what your partner would want to do or is going to do. But to go out because she left his backpack behind, she really should have told him, “Here’s your backpack,” instead of just leaving it at his feet. And worse than that, she couldn’t even take ownership for her mistake. This elimination rests solely on her.

What did you think of the episode? Do you think it was Mark’s or Mallory’s fault? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.

The Amazing Race, Feb. 23 – Illness Sidelines Teammate, but not Team

The Amazing Race is treating us to yet another All Stars season. There’s something about the All Star seasons on this show as well as Survivor. They just seem more exciting. From the looks of things so far, this one isn’t going to disappoint.

From the very start, the season is compelling. The night before Phil Keoghan was to shout “Go,” contestant Bopper ended up seeing a doctor, with a worried teammate Mark and Phil looking on. The doctor told Bopper he had pancreatitis. It’s a bad enough diagnosis on its own, but he also told him that he would not clear him to compete in the Race.

Bopper was, of course, devastated, as was Mark. There was hope for Mark and Team Kentucky, though. Phil offered up a new teammate, Mallory, who had raced before wither dad, Gary. She, too, is from Kentucky. Mark hated to race without Bopper, but decided to continue. Mark and Bopper needed the money badly and don’t hide the fact. I wonder what will happen if Mark and Mallory win. I hope Bopper gets something.

Also racing again are Luke and Margie, mother and son. Luke is deaf, but it doesn’t seem to hold him back. They came in third in their original season and eighth in a previous All-Stars, “Unfinished Business.” He still has to pull her along.

Flight Time and Big Easy, aka the Harlem Globetrotters, are also making a third appearance. They came in fourth place in their first season after taking an ill-advised penalty when they were already at the back of the pack. In Unfinished Business they came in second. Coming in third that race were Mallory and her dad.

Also from Unfinished Business, are Jet and Cord, the rodeo cowboy brothers. They came in second in their first season, then sixth in Unfinished Business. Hopefully that downward trend won’t continue.

Brendon and Rachel, aka Brenchel, are back for their second time. They have gotten married since coming in third and hope to have a baby after the race. I know everyone gets irritated with them, but they were the only ones to rush over and commiserate with Mark and Bopper when the teams heard the next day about Bopper’s illness. There’s some heart there.

Natalie and Nadiya, aka the Twinnies, came in fourth place in their original season. I find them way more annoying than Brenchel. They just have to keep shouting all the time at each other whether they’re encouraging each other or fighting.

Caroline and Jennifer, the country singers, came in fourth place in their season, and are one of four teams originally from season 22. They made a mistake already of teaming up with the Twinnies to find a wedding dress shop. That could have been their undoing.

Dave and Connor, also from season 22 and father and son, are both cancer survivors. In their original season Dave was injured when he snapped his Achilles’ tendon. He tried to carry on, but they had a shortened season nonetheless, ending in eighth place.

Jessica and John were dating in season 22 but are now engaged. They carry the distinction of being the only team to be eliminated with an Express Pass . He didn’t want to waste it, but in essence that’s what he did and it landed them in ninth place. They’re happy they didn’t get it this time.

Joey and Meghan are best friends and are known as Team YouTube as they are successful vloggers. In season 22 they came in fifth place.

The only team coming back after participating in the last season are Leo and Jamal, aka as Afghanimals. The cousins tend to have an annoyance factor like the Twinnies, but not as much. Jamal has gotten married in the time off. Let’s see if it makes a difference. If you look at pictures from the last Race where they came in fourth, it seems Leo is using Rogaine.

The teams traveled to China on two separate flights. Once there they needed to find one of three bridal shops to get their next clue. But each shop only had so many clues. Jet and Cord found a shop easily enough, but the Twinnies, on that same first flight, struggled, as did the country singers and Team YouTube. Eventually the Twinnies were the last team to find the bridal shops, but had to go to the third one before they could find one with a clue left still.

The teams were then sent to look for an apparatus with bubbles on it. It was basically a Ferris wheel with enclosed circular cars. Some of the bubbles had clues inside, but some just said, “Try again.” What made it tough was that after a few seconds inside to check the clue, if it wasn’t right, you had to ride all the way around to get out and get in a different car. The teams in the middle had it the best, as they knew to get in the bubbles they saw teams running from, headed to the next clue.

The Twinnies struggled here as well. One sister wanted to take the same bubble they saw another team leave from, while the other insisted all the bubbles would be the same. They got in and found a Try Again, then argued the whole way back to the top on whose fault that was.

After this was a Roadblock. One member of each team had to dress in a hideously tight costume with a flame design in orange and yellow and be hoisted high in the air. While supported with wires, they had to do five back flips. I give Margie credit for doing it. I don’t know if I could at this age. Flight Time pointed out that it was a good thing Big Easy didn’t do it.

The finishing order of the leg was mostly determined by the bridal shop search and bubble ride. Only one person at a time could do the back flips in the Roadblock and everyone completed it the first time up. The pit stop immediately followed. Jet and Cord won the first leg and now have two Express Passes – one for themselves and one for another team. The Twinnies were last and were eliminated.

This could be a really good season. There are a lot of really good teams. They’ve all done really well on their previous times racing, many of the teams came in second, third or fourth in at least one of their seasons. Dave and Connor left earlier than that but were doing well before his injury. Jessica and John were doing well, too. That’s why he didn’t think they needed to use the Express Pass. It would be interesting to see what would happen if the Cowboys offered their second Express Pass to Jessica and John. Would they even accept it?

What did you think of the season premiere? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.

The Amazing Race, Oct. 27 – Three Left Feet

Last week’s episode of The Amazing Race ended with the teams still racing. Only Brandon and Adam had reached the Pit Stop. Tim and Marie didn’t have their clue showing the Pit Stop and were lost. Nicole and Travis pulled up and offered to exchange that information for the second Express Pass. Tim and Marie hadn’t made a decision yet on it when the episode ended.

Departing from: Norway

First Clue: Teams will need to travel by boat and plane to Gdansk, Poland. They will then travel to Solidarity Square at a shipyard to get their next clue. They are cautioned that there is a U-Turn ahead.

Teams:

Brandon and Adam: Childhood friends from Chico, California. They’re here to race. They’re here to have fun, not to sit around and sleep. They announce that they’ve now been racing for about thirty straight hours.

Jason and Amy:Dating and from New England.

Nicole and Travis: Married ER physicians from Atlanta.

Leo and Jamal: Cousins from Southern California.

Tim and Marie: Exes from Morristown, NJ.

Tim and Danny: Oil plant workers from Cordell, Oklahoma.

Ally and Ashley: NHL ice crew teammates from Long Beach, California.

Nicky and Kim: Major League Baseball wives from the Midwest. They are definitely excited to find they are still in it and still racing, and that they were not eliminated.

With a boat departure of 8:30 P.M., Brandon and Adam realize all the other teams will catch up to them. All of the teams also catch the same flight into Poland.

On the boat, Tim and Marie secretly give their second Express Pass to Nicole and Travis. They want other teams to believe they still have it. Apparently Nicole and Travis gave them the directions to the Pit Stop that they were looking for to gain the Express Pass.

Second Clue: Teams will travel by taxi to the Golden Gate and Old Town Gdansk to get their next clue. Order of Arrival: Tim and Danny, Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Tim and Marie.

Third Clue: Detour: Pose or Polka. In Pose, teams will copy the stance of a historic bronze statue of Neptune to earn donations from spectators. Once they earn $75, they will get their next clue. In Polka, teams will learn and perform a choreographed routine in full costume to the satisfaction of their instructor to get their next clue. Order of Arrival: Tim and Danny, Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Nicky and Kim, Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Tim and Marie.

Pose: Nicky and Kim, Brandon and Adam (switch to Polka), Leo and Jamal (after being u-turned), and Brandon and Adam (They return after being U-Turned).

Polka: Tim and Danny, Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Brandon and Adam.

Express Pass: Tim and Marie.

Order of Finish: Nicky and Kim, Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Danny, Tim and Marie, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal (after their U-Turn), Brandon and Adam (after their U-Turn).

Fourth Clue: Teams need to search the riverfront for the Medieval Harbor Crane to get their next clue. They also need to wear their costumes until the end of this leg.

Fifth Clue: Double U-Turn:Order of Arrival: Jason and Amy (do not use), Tim and Marie (do not use), Nicky and Kim (do not use), Tim and Danny (u-Turn Leo and Jamal), Nicole and Travis (do not use), Leo and Jamal (are U-Turned and U-Turn Brandon and Adam in return), Ally and Ashley (do not use), and Brandon and Adam (are U-Turned). Teams will make their way to the longest apartment building in Poland to find their next clue.

Sixth Clue: Roadblock: Order of Arrival: Tim and Marie, Jason and Amy, Nicky and Kim, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Danny, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Brandon and Adam. One person from each team will use the twelve addresses provided to search for a rose-filled pastry. Once they find the right flavor, they will receive their next clue. They are warned that they may be penalized for bad manners. This can’t be good news for Tim and Marie or the Afghanimals. Participating: Marie, Amy, Kim, Travis, Danny, Ashley, Leo, and Brandon.

With Kim taking the elevator to the different floors, Travis hits the button on every floor while he runs down. She figures it out and switches to the stairs. He also catches up with Amy and Marie who are working together and knows they won’t go back to a place they already tried, so he starts following them. They work with him and split up to cover twice the territory.

Ashley and Leo work together as well.

Order of Finish: Nicole and Travis, Tim and Marie, Jason and Amy, Tim and Danny, Nicky and Kim, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Brandon and Adam.

Seventh Clue: Teams will now search for Phil on the Sopot Pier, the longest wooden pier in Europe and the pit stop for this leg of the Race. The winners of this leg of the Race receive a Travelocity trip for two to Hawaii.

Pit Stop: Order of Arrival: Tim and Marie, Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Brandon and Adam (eliminated).

Nicole and Travis realize that when he helped Marie and Amy, it cost them first place, yet they have the only Express Pass still in play.

Express Pass: Tim and Marie give their second Express Pass to Nicole and Travis in exchange for directions to the Pit Stop. Tim and Marie use their Express Pass on this leg. They realized they were in last place and that they stood a good chance of being U-Turned. Nicole and Travis’ Pass is still in play.

Teams to Get Lost: Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Tim and Marie. They ask to be taken to the shipyards instead of Solidarity Square.

Sound Bites: Tim: Would you rather be in this taxi right now with this guy who has no clue where he’s going or be shoving sharp objects into your eye?

Danny (in a dress): I didn’t really feel sexy. I felt pretty humiliated.

Danny to Tim: You have three left feet. You’re terrible.

Brandon and Adam: We need boobs. Apparently that’s what does it.

Next Week: Teams join the Vienna Boys Choir while Marie steals Jason and Amy’s taxi.

Brandon and Adam went from first place to last place on this leg. They aren’t so worried about losing the money but are a little sad to be missing out on the rest of the Race. They know they couldn’t buy the experience with the million dollars. They were doing crazy stuff before the Race, and it’s not going to stop them from continuing to do crazy stuff.

The Amazing Race, Oct. 20 – “I’ll Tell You Where You Can Stick Your Express Pass”

We know it has to be time for a non-elimination. We’re several legs into The Amazing Race and haven’t had one yet. It’s with that that we watch the clock tick later and later through the hour without the teams even beginning to hit the elimination mat. And that’s even an hour after the show actually starts, not when it is supposed to start, since it happens ten minutes or so late because of football.

Departing from: Lisbon, Portugal

First Clue: Teams will need to travel by plane and ferry into Norway and the Arctic Circle. There they will find there next clue at the Ferry Terminal.

Teams:

Nicole and Travis: Married ER physicians from Atlanta. Time of departure: 11:08 PM. They head straight to a travel agency to find an early flight to Norway. She’s from Brooklyn and is used to everything being about hustling, and she thinks that works along with the Race as well as the rest of her life. He is finding her toughness a very nice surprise. They get a flight that lands in Oslo at 8:55 AM. Every team will make the flight, so they have no advantage.

Jason and Amy:Dating and from New England. Time of departure: 11:14 PM. They’ve been working with Nicole and Travis the past few legs, and are getting inspired by them. She feels like she’s found a little family in them.

Nicky and Kim: Major League Baseball wives from the Midwest.

Tim and Danny: Oil plant workers from Cordell, Oklahoma.

Brandon and Adam: Childhood friends from Chico, California.

Leo and Jamal: Cousins from Southern California.

Ally and Ashley: NHL ice crew teammates from Long Beach, California.

Tim and Marie: Exes from Morristown, NJ.

All teams catch the same flight as well as the same ferry to Svolvaer, Norway.

Second Clue: Detour: Hang Your Heads or Hammer of the Cods. In Hang Your Heads, teams will need to string together six bundles of ten fish heads apiece, then transport them to enormous drying racks to hang them out to dry. In Hammer of the Cods, teams will collect fifteen pairs of cod from thirty-foot high drying racks, then pound them with a giant hammer to make one kilo of fish jerky without the bones. Order of Arrival: Jason and Amy, Brandon and Adam, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Marie, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny

Hang Your Heads: Order of Arrival: Tim and Marie, Jason and Amy, Brandon and Adam, Nicole and Travis, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley

Hammer of the Cods: Tim and Danny, Nicky and Kim

The teams have trouble catching taxis, then realize why. It’s 11:00 PM in the Arctic Circle, despite the sun shining very brightly still. Brandon and Adam decide just to jog. Leo and and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, Tim and Danny, and Nicky and Kim decide to jog as well. Tim and Danny catch a cab partially through the jog.

Leo and Jamal are slowed on their walk from fish stringing to the fish hanging, as they have a flat tire on their wheelbarrow.

Marie makes the mistake of telling Tim to string the fish on a pole that isn’t specially marked for the Race. They are told it’s wrong, but the judge won’t verify why. Jason and Amy finish before them and refuse to say why. So much for family. Tim starts restringing their fish, trying to figure out where they went wrong. Marie asks Brandon and Adam as well and uses the Express Pass as leverage, but they know that she has already used that to get help from other teams at different points during the Race. Tim and Marie are told for a second time it’s wrong. Amy stops Nicole and Travis and tells them which poles to use. Marie sees Nicole and Travis using a marked pole and figure it out.

Order of Finish: Jason and Amy, Brandon and Adam, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Marie, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Tim and Danny, Nicky and Kim

Third Clue: Teams need to take a speedboat ride to Henningsvaer, Norway to find their next clue.

Fourth Clue: Roadblock:Order of Arrival: Brandon and Adam, Jason and Amy, Tim and Marie, Nicole and Travis, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Tim and Danny, and Nicky and Kim. One person from each team will jump off a bridge on an eighty-foot rope, then swim through the frigid Arctic to pick up their next clue. Participating: Brandon, Jason, Tim, Nicole, Ashley, Leo, Tim, and Nicky.

Order of Finish: Brandon and Adam, Jason and Amy, Tim and Marie, Nicole and Travis, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Tim and Danny, and Nicky and Kim.

Fifth Clue: The teams will make their way back to shore and use a Ford Ranger to set up their next challenge, to hook up the truck to a huge boulder and pull it forward to reveal their next clue and satchel of coins that they will need later in the Race. Order of Arrival: Brandon and Adam, Jason and Amy, Tim and Marie, Nicole and Travis, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Tim and Danny.

Order of Finish: Brandon and Adam, Jason and Amy, Tim and Marie, Nicole and Travis, Leo and Jamal, Tim and Danny, Ally and Ashley,

Sixth Clue: Teams will now need to drive themselves in the Ford Rangers to the Viking Longhouse, the Pit Stop for this leg of the Race. The winners of this leg will receive $5000 each.

Tim and Marie drive off without the Viking Longhouse clue, with her believing that the coins are the clue. He is telling her there was nothing else underneath the boulder. Nicole and Travis see that Tim and Marie are lost and don’t know where to go. They drive up and offer to tell them … for the other Express Pass. Nicole feels they earned it anyway, but lost it because of their stupid mistake. She tells Marie that either she gives them the Pass, or they will drive off without telling them where the Pit Stop is.

Pit Stop: Order of Arrival: Brandon and Adam,

They are still racing and receive their next clue. The show ends here before any of the other teams arrive at the Pit Stop. It’s not a “non-elimination leg,” but is a week where no one is eliminated. They were due. Additionally they ended with the drama of Tim and Marie and their Express Pass. She has been using it as leverage the entire race. Now she will be forced to put up or shut up. She likes to be in control, but this time will have to lose the control of that Pass if they are to continue. Although I do have to wonder why they wouldn’t just get behind Nicole and Travis and follow them.

Express Pass: Tim and Marie know they will not give their express pass to the Afghanimals, because they’re jerks, or the Ice Girls, as they might as well give it to the Afghanimals because they are right in their backpacks. They have considered giving it to Nicole and Travis because they actually came in first but didn’t because of the penalty, but it would be too much of a challenge to have them around at the end, but now are forced to consider it to get the clue to the Pit Stop. Neither pass gets used on this leg and both are still in play.

Teams to Get Lost: None.

Sound Bites: Jamal: Leo and I don’t really fish. The closest I get to the water is a shower.

Ally: I just kicked a fish head.

Adam: Make these beards fly, Buddy.

Next Week: Marie will decide whether or not to hand over the Express Pass, and a Double U-Turn will be in play.

The Amazing Race, Oct. 13 – Racing with Ricky Bobby

Ricky Bobby, despite being a race car driver, is one of the last names I’d expect to come up on The Amazing Race. Nevertheless, the “great Ricky Bobby” is quoted by the team arriving in last place tonight.

Departing from: Santiago, Chile

First Clue: Teams will need to travel to Lisbon, Portugal, travel to Martim Moniz Square, then ride a tram to the top of the hill to get their next clue.

Teams:

Chester and Ephraim: Former NFL teammates from Houston. Time of departure: 6:27 PM. Usually when they travel they have people who book everything for them; they only need to show up. They’re on their way to a travel agency right now to find a flight. Their agent messes up the date, costing them time and a spot on the earliest flight. They end up on a flight landing at 12:00 PM after a connection in Såo Paolo, until their travel agent calls the airport with a message for them that she found them an earlier flight landing at 7:00 AM after two connections in Buenos Aires and Madrid. They’re worried about the two connections, but figure the five our difference is worth it.

Leo and Jamal: Cousins from Southern California. Time of departure: 6:39 PM. Jamal is super-excited; he’s always wanted to go to Portugal. It seems the two have put away their differences from the end of the last leg. They go straight to the airport to book their flight, arranging a flight that will arrive in Lisbon at 11:00 AM after a connection in London. Knowing they are before most of the other teams, they share their earlier flight info with Ashley and Ally and Tim and Danny.

Brandon and Adam: Childhood friends from Chico, California. Time of departure: 6:58 PM. They also get seats on the 12:00 PM flight. Chester and Ephraim’s agent calls them and gives them the earliest flight she could find for them, a flight that lands at 10:00 AM after a connection in Madrid.

Nicole and Travis: Married ER physicians from Atlanta. Time of departure: 7:11 PM. He feels the Race creates a lot of stress and pressure, and it isn’t too far off from what they experience as doctors. They head straight to the airport as well and book a flight landing at 7:00 AM after a connection in Såo Paolo. It starts the same as the flight that lands at 12:00; they just have an earlier connection.

Jason and Amy:Dating and from New England. Time of departure: 7:25 PM. She notes that they’ve been dating for a little over a year, and surprisingly they have been working together really well on tasks in the Race. Their taxi gets in an accident, costing them valuable time. They get on the flight that lands at 12:00 PM.

Tim and Danny: Oil plant workers from Cordell, Oklahoma. Time of departure: 12:25 AM. They get tickets on the earlier 11:00 AM flight with the Afghanimals and Ice Girls, but are uncomfortable lying about it to Marie. They know the Afghanimals are just trying to bring them with them so they that the other teams are upset with them as well for getting the earlier flight. Danny wants to U-turn the Afghanimals if given the chance. They outsmart the Afghanimals and get tickets on the flight that lands at 10:00 AM.

Ally and Ashley: NHL ice crew teammates from Long Beach, California. Time of departure: 12:27 AM. They get tickets on the earlier 11:00 AM flight after a tip from the Aghanimals.

Tim and Marie: Exes from Morristown, NJ. Time of departure: 12:33 AM. He realizes people are being more friendly to them because they have the Express Passes. While they had told Nicky and Kim they would give the extra Express Pass to them, they haven’t done so yet. They get tickets for the flight that lands at 12:00 PM

Nicky and Kim: Major League Baseball wives from the Midwest. Time of departure: 1:00 AM, six hours and thirty-three minutes after Chester and Ephraim. They get tickets on the flight that lands at 12:00 PM.

After the flights take off, Chester and Ephraim’s flight out of Madrid is delayed four hours. They find another flight that should catch them up to the other teams in Såo Paolo, only to board the flight and be told they are being delayed again. They just miss the connecting flight with everyone else, meaning they will be a half day behind everybody. Unbelievably, their flight out of London ends up being delayed as well.

The teams on the 12:00 flight race to get on the standby list for the earlier connection. Marie and Nicky and Kim get in an argument over which team were on the standby list first. The Baseball Wives get the standby flight, really pissing off Marie. Suffice it to say they won’t be getting the Express Pass.

The First Flight Arriving in Lisbon: Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Nicky and Kim.

The Second Flight Arriving in Lisbon: Brandon and Adam, Tim and Danny.

The Third Flight Arriving in Lisbon: Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley.

The Fourth Flight Arriving in Lisbon: Tim and Marie

The Fifth Flight Arriving in Lisbon: Chester and Ephraim

Second Clue: The teams must figure out that the painting at Martim Moniz Square is directing them to Museu Nacional dos Coches. Order of Arrival: Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Tim and Marie.

Third Clue: Detour: Tiles or Miles. In Tiles, teams will need to assemble a life-size puzzle that includes dozens of very fragile pieces. Once completed, they’ll get the next clue. In Miles, teams will use a giant navigation instrument to measure the total distance Magellan sailed to ten destinations. Once they’re within five-hundred miles, they’ll get the next clue. Order of Arrival: Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Tim and Marie.

Tiles: Nicky and Kim, Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, Tim and Marie,

Miles: Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Tim and Danny, Leo and Jamal (they end up switching to Tiles), and Ally and Ashley (they end up switching to Tiles),

Order of Finish: Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Tim and Marie.

Jason/Amy and Nicole/Travis work together on the Detour with the guys moving the large navigational tool and the women doing the math. They get the next clue on their first attempt. The Afghanimals and their Race Wives also work together on Miles, only to both switch to Tiles.

Fourth Clue: Teams need to make their way to Clube Portugues de Tiro a Chumbo for their next clue.

Fifth Clue: Roadblock:Order of Arrival: Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Brandon and Adam, Ally and Ashley, Leo and Jamal, and Tim and Marie. One person from each team will put on a knight’s suit of armor, and using a giant ballista will hit a shield 150 feet away to get their next clue. Participating: Jason, Travis, Kim, Danny, Adam, Ally, Jamal, and Tim.

Order of Finish: Jason and Amy, Nicole and Travis, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Tim and Marie.

Sixth Clue: The teams will make their way to Castelo dos Mouros, a 9th century castle and the pit stop for this leg of the race. The winners of this leg win a trip for two from Travelocity to Costa Rica.

Pit Stop: Order of Arrival: Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Nicky and Kim, Tim and Danny, Brandon and Adam, Leo and Jamal, Ally and Ashley, and Tim and Marie.

Express Pass: Tim and Marie fight with Nicky and Kim after they had promised the Express Pass to them on the previous leg. The don’t figure to be getting it anymore. Tim and Marie discuss using their pass to get through the Roadblock, but persevere and don’t end up using it. Neither pass gets used on this leg and both are still in play.

Teams to Get Lost: None.

Sound Bites: Jason: I’m in Medieval Times, King Arthur Style.

Marie: I’m trying not to act like a bitch.

Phil to Marie: I think you’re in control of everything.

After all the other teams arrive at the pit stop, Chester and Ephraim finally arrive in Lisbon. Phil meets them there instead of having them finish the leg and eliminates them. Ephraim isn’t happy about being eliminated but calls it a great experience, getting the chance to do it with Chester. He quotes the great Ricky Bobby, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” Phil wishes them luck as they catch a flight out of Lisbon. I’m sure getting on an airplane is the last thing they want to do right now.

Next Week: Teams plunge into the Arctic and Nicole makes a power pay to get the Express Pass.