Category Archives: Racing

Amazing Race 21 – Ep 2 – A Big Yellow Taxi Took My Race Dreams Away

Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got, til it’s gone?
I need to stop finding teams I like. Upon watching this week’s episode with my wife, she asked me which teams I liked early on. It is fairly early to get a good sense of the teams – not a lot of airtime to go around for each one – but I mentioned some early affection for Fantasy Island (Gary/Will), The Hairs (James/Abba), and Amy/Daniel (no good nickname). So, obviously, one of them was going to get eliminated. Kiss. Of. Death.

In reality, all three teams struggled in some manner this week – in fact, most teams struggled at some point as the Race took them from China to Indonesia. Only the Twins, Texas and Magic Mike seemed to be without any real challenges. The rest of them either had trouble with the Race tasks, airport navigation or the dreaded local taxi problems. In the end, it was the taxi issue which claimed yet another victim. No other factor in Race history has claimed more teams’ scalps than bad taxi drivers. Not Killer Fatigue. Not bad clue reading. Not bad challenge performances. Not even bad team navigation has done more damage than the taxi driver. And it is the reason why we get so many clue instructions telling teams to take taxis.

First, the airport navigation. And I am looking right at you, Monsters. You guys got lucky. Really lucky. Teams have been hopelessly left behind because they got too adventurous with tickets. Remember All-Stars’ Uchenna/Joyce? Here is a basic rule – if you are the only team on a flight – double check the details of that flight. Twice. There is no excuse for being on a flight with a four-hour layover with this many teams left. None. If you didn’t get some serious good fortune with an overnight arrival and a semi-bunching, that could have been Race fatal. As it was, you would up last to go with the bull racing challenge. If that challenge took any skill whatsoever, you could have still been behind by a substantial margin heading towards the Roadblock. Bad Race move – learn from it.

Speaking of the bull racing? How useless was that? It didn’t have to be. The actual bull racing looked cool – a rickety old sled attached to two bulls that tears it up down a field? Put Racers on there and it would be hysterical. But no. Instead they race alongside on mopeds. Wait, correction, they RIDE alongside on mopeds. At least there’s some consequence should the bulls beat the mopeds to the finish. They have to go to the end of the line and try again, right? No. They don’t. They could lose by a mile to the bulls and just walk the mopeds to the end and get the clue. They whole thing was just an excuse to send the teams off to the Roadblock with staggered times. Useless.

Then the Roadblock happened. And it is one of the goofiest ones in a while. Racers had to generate power for a tiny kiddie merry-go-round – or as my son calls it, an “American Round” – by pedaling a bicycle. Let me just say – Worst. Ride. Ever. Those poor kids were going around and around at a snail’s pace. How is that fun? They’d move faster if they were blown by the wind. Adding to the challenge weirdness, Racers have to blow up several balloon animals while pedaling. Is this common behavior for parents in Indonesia? It is one of the oddest bits of multitasking I can recall seeing. Seriously, are there no clowns in Indonesia? The Hairs were the first to arrive and find the red and yellow balloons marking the location of the weird challenge. Amy and Dan arrive next. Remember that.

Hair James, Amy and Abbie all struggle to get the balloons done as Magic Mike and Texas arrive. James with a Y and Lexi take the challenge and kill it. Y is worried the kids were afraid of him. Heck, I was a little afraid of him. Dude acts at all times like he just did a line of coke in the bathroom. Lexi thinks her multi-tasking skills will do her well here – and I wonder what kind of sorority pledge she did that was similar to this kind of multi-tasking. She is proven to be correct as she and Y finish first, most of the others follow suit, with the Twins squawking at giant volumes all the way through. If Y was doing coke, these two drank a case of Red Bull at the Pit Stop.

The Amazing Race, Oct. 7 – Familiar Foe Takes Down Another Team

There are differences of opinion out there on how great of a rule change this option of the this season's The Amazing Race winners getting $2 million is. Personally, I like it … at least this season. I like when these reality shows that have been around for so long change it up so that the players and the viewers don't know what's coming next. I might not want it again after this season, but for now, I like it.

The first team to leave from the pitstop in Shanghai, China, are Abbie and Ryan at 5:35 AM. Their clue tells them to fly across the South China Sea to Surabaya, Indonesia. After landing, they will travel across a bridge and make their way to the Alun Alun Stadium to find their next clue. Apparently the rule changes did not get rid of the Express Pass, as the winner of this leg will receive it. Ryan complains he's sweating behind his kneecaps, which he thinks is awkward. They're scared to be in first place, knowing it makes them a huge target.

Amy and Daniel are the next to leave, just one minute later. Remember, they told Abbie and Ryan where the woman with the abacus was, and the other team then passed them to reach Phil Keoghan's mat first. Amy recalls them being bummed that they just missed out on the chance for the $2 million. She also admits she is very strong, but says she has prosthetic legs, and she already had to learn how to walk again and start snowboarding, so she already knows she has that drive.”

Caitlin and Brittany leave at 5:41 AM and nearly get hit by a car when crossing the street. Natalie and Nadiya leave at 6:05 AM and have a hard time pronouncing the destination. They discuss their crazy background, saying their parents came from the two fighting sides of Sri Lanka. They think growing up in a third-world country benefits them, as they've done many of these things that the others are afraid to do.

Rob and Kelley leave three minutes later. He mentions that they met in the monster truck business. Her husband was his best friend, and was killed in an accident. She recalls Rob being very good to her during that time, staying with her and helping her with her kids. They eventually fell in love. He says she is the first person who made him understand with love is.

The teams start arriving at the airport. Amy and Daniel arrive first. Rob and Kelley book a flight leaving at 8:20 AM that will take them through Hong Kong. They're hoping to then get tickets while they're there to Indonesia. There has to be a way to find tickets to Indonesia in Shanghai, doesn't there?

Amy and Daniel get a flight leaving at 10:05 and taking them to Indonesia. She knows everyone is probably going to end up on this flight, but thinks that will be okay. Abbie adds that everyone will be on this flight unless they mess up. Rob and Kelley see the others all huddled together and are trying to hide from them, wanting to run their own race. Well, if you're making the right decisions, that's okay, but …

James and Abba arrive, as do Gary and Will. They're all getting the same flight. Kelley remarks that either they are making a good move or a bad move to not follow the pack. James2 arrive as well and get the same flight as the rest of the majority. Jaymes refers to it as “the cool kid flight.” They're excited to catch up to everyone else.

Rob and Kelley run to their gate and believe they are duping everyone else and that they'll be in the front. The other teams all catch the other flight and don't know what happened to Rob and Kelley, who they refer to as “Monster Truck,” but wonder if they pulled a fast one.

The flight carrying the majority of the teams lands in Jakarta, and their flight leaves at 5:35, but there's another one leaving at 4:25. It's full, but James and Abba are going to get on the standby list. The other teams are secure with their 5:35 flight. They hope that “Long Hair” don't get the earlier flight, but it turns out they do.

Rob and Kelley are waiting for their flight with a four-hour layover and are wondering if they are in the front or the back of the pack since they don't see any other teams at the airport in Hong Kong. Again, they're running their own race.

James and Abba's flight lands, and they take off for the stadium. The second flight lands carrying most of the others. The sisters, Natalie and Nadiya, really like Lexi and Trey and refer to them as the Texans, noting they're so far away from home.

James sand Abba cross the bridge and start looking for the cluebox. They find it, along with a note telling them to take a number. They see that whatever it is will open at 8 AM. Amy and Daniel get number two, and Abbie and Ryan grab number three, and this makes Amy happy to know that the team that started out the leg in the lead is beatable. James2 gets number four, Trey and Lexi get number five, and the sisters get number six. These last two teams end up making an alliance.

Josh and Brent get number seven, and Caitlin and Brittany number eight. They get upset about them not having air conditioning “in this place,” which is apparently outside. “It's hot as crap out here.” Gary and Will get number nine. They all realize that Monster Truck will be number ten an that they're not even there yet.

Rob and Kelley are on their flight on their way there, as she says she's not sure if they did good or bad. He notes there are some physically fit young people in the race, and when they burn out, that's when “Ma and Pop will roll right on by.” He still believes they're in the lead right now. Sigh.

Monster Truck's flight touches down finally, and they head out to get a taxi. They get to the bridge and take the last number available. The sisters greet them and ask what happened. Rob tells them they had a four-hour layover. He likes to be the last team, though, as what matters is who will be the first team to the mat. They're just gliding under the radar. They're lucky it's an overnight wait and that they were allowed to catch up as much as they were.

Amazing Race 21 – Premiere Commentary – Have You Not Had Fallopian Tube?

Welcome back TARFans – and please, please, as always, read Laura’s recaps for the goings on in Phil’s World. I’m just here for backup. We have another Race! Before we go further into my take on the show – a quick meet and greet for the teams:

Jaymes/James – Really? James with a Y? I’m already mad at them. They are Chippendales dancers. Less mad, because, hey, it’s a living. Team Magic Mike have brought their collars with them – THAT will get annoying.

Caitlin/Brittany – A pair of tall blondes who were college buddies. They are athletic, beautiful, one snorts when she laughs, and I will never, ever be able to tell them apart.

Amy/Daniel – She had bacterial meningitis and lost her spleen, a kidney, part of her hearing and both legs. Damn. Now she’s a competitive snowboarder. I stand corrected. It’s not Phil’s World, it’s Amy’s World. We’re just passing through. Dan is the on-again, off-again boyfriend.

Natalie/Nadiya – Twin Sisters – Born in New York, raised in Sri Lanka. Well, really, that old story? They finish each others’ sentences, appear to play rugby and do yoga by iconic bridges, and broke up with boyfriends for each other. Oh, and they screech at each other. Hopefully that stops soon.

Josh/Brent – The Fabulous Beekman Boys. If that means something to you. I never saw it. They were NYC exec. Now they are goat farmers in Sharon Springs, NY. Life partners too. Very dry sense of humor.

Abbie/Ryan – Dating Divorcees. Uh oh. That is rarely a good combo on this show. She’s a dance instructor and he’s a jujitsu dude. He seems to think choking her is a metaphor for the Race. I think he’s been watching a different Race. Or he just remembers his stint trying to be Martha Stewart’s Apprentice. Really. He was on that show.

James/Abba – Both look like they played Hair Metal, but it seems only James has. With White Lion. Wait. That’s awesome. Abba – and that’s a nickname – is an entertainment lawyer. And I guess lawyers in that industry could get away with that look.

Rob/Kelley – They are both monster truckers. He’s a big dude.

Gary/Will – Superfans Unite!! They finally got on the show after seven tries. Gary’s a giant, Will’s a hobbit. They should be lots of fun. And judging by their shirts – they are from Michigan.

Rob//Sheila He’s a lumberjack, and he don’t care. She gave up her career to be with him. And apparently, to be dominated by him. So that’s a special relationship to watch on TV.

Trey/Lexi – Stereotype youngsters from Texas who could have come directly out of a rejected spec script for Friday Night Lights.

The big news for the Race took place right at the starting line – if a team wins Leg 1 and goes on to win the whole thing…they get $2 million. I’ve been wondering when Survivor and The Amazing Race would get around to upping the ante with the prize money. It’s been the same since 2000 & 2001 respectively. So many other format twists have come and gone – but not the prize. Personally, I would like to see one where it is a huge prize – five mil or something – and you only get winners on the island or on the Race course. Get moving Burnett and Bertram – get that cast, stat!

As we learn later on, one team’s generosity with information could wind up costing them $500,000 each should they win the whole Race. Which leads into the old share info or not share info debate. I think there is a place for both plans – and the decision to share here came solely from it being the first leg, with adrenaline kicking in. If this decision came after a few legs and they became hardened Racers – no way would info be shared.

The Amazing Race, Sept. 30 – And How Do YOU Pronounce Abacus?

It's time to see how the rules behind this new season of The Amazing Race. The eleven teams this season will take off from a starting line on the Colorado Street Bridge Pasadena, California. They seem to be arriving in the Partridge Family bus. Groovy. The teams are:

Trey and Lexi. Dating, from Austin, Texas. He was a football player for the University of Texas, and she was a cheerleader. They're traditional people and don't want to live together until they get married. One of their dreams is to win the Race and get married to start their lives together. I have a feeling they'll be annoying.

Natalie and Nadiya. Twins born in New York, but raised in Sri Lanka. They feel the stuff they have experienced together is amazing, from taking each other's exams and mid-terms to stealing each other's boyfriends. They can admit it now, as they've already graduated, so aren't in fear of getting in trouble. They feel lucky to be twins.

James and Abba. Rock star and lawyer from Los Angeles. James is a rocker, starting out with the band White Lion and moving on to Megadeath. He's played with Ozzy and Slash. Adam is an entertainment attorney based around the hard rock and heavy metal side of things. They've traveled around the world extensively and are comfortable being uncomfortable.

Josh and Brent Goat farmers from Sharon Springs, New York. Hey, I recognize these guys. They had a show of their own on the Planet Green Network, The Fabulous Beekman Boys. They're two city guys who ended up owning this farm in the country. They both lost their jobs within a few months and had to figure out how to make the farm pay for itself, but are now a Grade-A Goat Dairy.

Amy and Daniel. Dating on and off for ten years, from Crested Butte, Colorado. When she was 19 she contracted bacterial meningitis. She lost her spleen, kidneys, hearing in her left ear, and both of her legs. It was a mission to get a new pair of legs in order to start snowboarding again. She's the top-ranked female snowboarder and this year won three World Cup golds. He says she's such a beautiful person and inspires him every day.

Caitlin and Brittany. Best friends from the midwest. Caitlin played soccer at Auburn, and Brittany played basketball. She was always getting technicals while Caitlin was getting yellow-carded. They think they're pretty mean when it comes to being on the court. She realizes they aren't signing up for a beauty pageant.

Rob and Sheila. Engaged from Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. He started a lumberjack sports career at 6 years old and was a champion at the age of 17. She spent the last fifteen years as the director of sales at a major cosmetics company and gave up that job to move to Pigeon Forge with Rob. And that, Folks, is love. He's the boss of the relationship and has taken over the planning of the wedding. She just hopes he picks out a cute dress for her.

Gary and Will. Substitute teachers and best friends for thirty-five years. They have applied for the race seven times. Gary is 6'6″, while Will is 5'1″. Will corrects him that it's 1-1/4″. People laugh at them and call them Mutt and Jeff, but they're secure in their friendship. If they don't win, Will wants a divorce.

Abbie and Ryan. Dating divorcees from San Diego. Physically speaking, he thinks they're both very strong. She's a dance instructor and choreographer, and he not only trains, but also competes, in jujitsu. Having that competitiveness, when someone's arm is wrapped around his throat, it will be a metaphor for how he expects to win the Race. He wants world domination and to be bowed down to. Sigh.

Jaymes and James. Chippendale performers from Las Vegas. Most people probably think they swing around stripper poles with dollar bills in their pants, but they don't. It's a production show, and one sings, while the other plays guitar. If need be though, they will slap on the cuffs and collars to draw attention. James refers to the look as “I'm here to party, but I want to be formal.”

Rob and Kelley. Married monster truckers from Boston, Georgia. They are one of the top independent teams in monster trucking, and he has four world championships. She talks about the crazy adrenaline she gets from monster truck driving. He predicts the other teams will either think he's arrogant and an ass or they're going to love him.

Phil welcomes all eleven teams to the Race, telling them there are twelve legs on the race taking them to nine countries and over 25,000 miles. There are a lot of surprises along the way. The fact is, he'll be eliminating most of them. If they make it to the final leg, for the firs time in Race history, they have a chance at doubling their money. If they win the first and last legs of the Race, they will win $2 million.

They will start this Race right out of the gate with a ten-story rappel off the bridge. Once they get the clue, they'll get behind the wheel of an all-new Ford Escape and be on their way. Good Luck. Travel Safe. Go!

Jaymes and James (James2 for easier reference) are deciding it's a long way down off that bridge. Trey and Lexi start their rappel, and Josh and Brent struggle early on. James2 gets it going. Josh and Brittany are nearly at the end, as are Caitlin and Brittany. Trey and Lexi land first. Gary is trying to talk himself through it, and Abbie is doing some weird yodeling thing. James and Abba try to talk each other through it, and Amy and Daniel jump off. Gary yells at Will right out of the gate for trying to help him mentally through the jump.

James2, Trey/Lexi, Josh/Brent, Caitlin/Brittany, get the first clues and find out they're headed to Shanghai, China. Rob/Sheila and Natalie/Nadiya start their rappel. James2 get to the Escapes, as do Trey/Lexi and Caitlin/Brittany. Turning on the cars they find a video message from Phil, saying that they may fly to Shanghai on one of two flights, China Airlines Flight 7, scheduled to land at 10:50 AM and Flight 15, scheduled to land at 12:05 PM. Only the first seven teams to check in will get Flight 7.

Amazing Race 20 – Ep 11 & 12 – Bring That Chicken Home

The two-hour season finale was basically two stand alone episodes fused together to bridge the gap between last week’s Good Wife finale and next week’s Survivor finale. But that’s ok; any excuse for a two-hour block of racing is fine by me. I only wish I hadn’t chosen to see a later Avengers show on Sunday night, requiring me to stay up late watching the Race. I also had to improvise my note taking on the cardboard of my legal pad as I ran out of paper.

But, really, why should you care about that. You want to know who brought that chicken home.

I’m going to divide this column up between two sections – Bring That Chicken Home, focusing on the incredible first half Roadblock and the final elimination, and Holy Crap, We’re In The Lead, focusing on the run for the finish. Because while there was a lot going on, to me, the main parts to these two hours were the insanity of that Roadblock and the unexpected drama which compounded the last challenge.

Bring That Chicken Home – Our Final Four departs India for Japan, and to sum it up, I really couldn’t care less who won. Of the final eight Racers, I only like Army Wife Rachel who I found to be a fascinating character. She uses humor as a crutch, a weapon and as a coping mechanism. I can relate to that. She is racing with a man whom she clearly loves, but who talks to her in ways that I find to be demeaning to both of them. She is also a very solid Racer who, very quietly, excelled at virtually every challenge put before her this season. I really did not want to root for Dave, but at least I like Rachel quite a bit. Art and JJ were frustrating to me – the first half of the season, they were one of my favorites, but they became insufferable with their trash talk and bragging in the second half. Brendon seems like a decent guy, but he started and ended this Race essentially a blank slate. I got no real sense of who he is and what makes him tick. He is instantly dragged down by the walking psych case study he’s chosen as his mate. Few Racers have been more annoying or frustrating as Baby Rachel – she’s truly in a class to herself.

As for Stalker, I disliked their back story, and really never warmed to them. They just felt insincere, unnecessarily mean, and incredibly fake. Vanessa’s cattiness to Baby Rachel actually made me feel bad for Baby, and for that, I cannot forgive Vanessa. That said, I owe Vanessa an apology – something that I am sure is somewhat foreign to her. Last week, I downplayed her injury from her tumble in India. It was a legit injury, as we see her bruised and swollen ankle. And it becomes a major issue in the Race.

Because the Roadblock in Japan was another Japanese game show. If you remember back a couple of seasons, we had the “Eat the Wasabi” game in Japan which remains one of my favorite Roadblocks in recent seasons. We are back with another Japanese game show – this one the aforementioned Bring That Chicken Home. It is a simple, if insane game. Contestants run on a narrow treadmill, which has varying speeds, and have to leap to grab three rubber chickens hanging from the ceiling. They then have to jump feet first onto the mat at the end of the tread for the win. Clearly, hilarity was about to ensure.
JJArt got there first after Army Wife and Baby Brother took the subway to the studio and fell behind, while Stalker’s cab went to the wrong building. Art took the Roadblock – a phrase that would spell doom for the team about an hour later in show time – and set the stage for what would come later. Art got one, he fell, and JJ laughed. He got two, and three and then proceeded to fall again and again as he tried to reach the end. As he did we got glimpses of the other teams trying to get there and Ralph’s inadvertent foreshadowing, “we’re all acting like chickens with our heads cut off.”

The other three teams all basically arrive at the same time, with Brendon, Army Wife Rachel and Vanessa taking the Roadblock. Vanessa was forced into this one because Ralph already had done five, and with the double Roadblock in the final leg, I’m sure the show informed them that they had to get to even footing on this one. This means that she had a running and jumping task to do on her bad leg. This was going to be a bad one.

The three started running at essentially the same time – all looking like rejects from Spaceballs. Brendon got two chickens quickly. And Vanessa fell. And fell. And fell. Brendon landed on his head. Rachel gracefully grabbed one, as Brendon got his third and spectacularly wiped out. Rachel got her second one and falls very hard. Brendon jumps at last and barely survives. Rachel gets her third and wraps it up – she did the best of all four of them. Vanessa finally gets one and crashes. She is banged up and a mess.

Ralph, in what was by far his best moment on the Race, pulled her out and told her to stop apologizing for failing, and that she does not have to keep doing this. He was willing to take the penalty and go out on a high note. More importantly, he would rather lose a million dollars than see his lady get hurt. Maybe there’s hope for them after all.

However, Vanessa did not want to quit. She went back out there and fell again. Then removed her sweatshirt. Why? I don’t know, I guess she was looking to unleash the power of the boobs. All that did was remove some padding for the next faceplant, and this one knocked off one of her false eyelashes. And…wait a minute, false eyelashes? Why is she wearing false eyelashes on the Amazing Race? Shouldn’t she be spending more time studying guidebooks rather than primping? Can you picture Tara, or Margarita or Joyce, or even Flo doing that?

Anyway, Vanessa manages to do it and more power to her. That was tough. The consequence of the challenge is that they wind up far behind. They sort of catch up to Baby Brother at the Detour, but too much time exists between the two teams and Team Stalker earns the Cha Cha Cha Honorary Fourth Place slot. Only not nearly as cool as the boys.

The Amazing Race, May 6 – Captain Poopy Pants Wins the Race!

Normally at this point I’d be prognosticating who I think will win this season of The Amazing Race, but it’s been so crazy, I don’t know what’s going to happen. By all rights it should be either Border Patrol agents Art and J.J or Blonde Rachel and Dave winning, as there haven’t been many legs that one of those two teams didn’t come in first. However, in this Race, crazy things tend to happen, and in such a crazy season as this, the win could also easily go to Big Brother team Rachel and Brendon or Vanessa and Ralph.

The first team to leave Cochin, India, are once again Blonde Rachel and Dave. Their clue tells them to fly to Hiroshima, Japan, where they will head to Miyajima Island to get their next clue. Winning is important to Dave, but he finally admits his relationship with his wife is more important. They head to a travel agency, and the agent asks how they liked his country. Rachel tells him it was very nice, and Dave admonishes her for bothering the man while he’s working. He then tries to make it better later, saying he doesn’t view her necessarily as his wife, but more his teammate and equal. However, it didn’t sound like that just now. The only flight they find gets to Hiroshima at 8:10 tomorrow night.

Without any departure drama, we catch up to all the teams on the flight to Hiroshima. Redhead Rachel notes that at this point, a mistake could mean the end for her and Brendon. J.J. feels he and Art are the best team. Their greatest fear is standing in front of Phil Keoghan and being told they are the last team to arrive. They have faced that fear, leaving J.J. no doubts that they’ll be in that final three. Vanessa ended up spraining her ankle on the last leg, and it’s painful, but she’s going to try and run this leg hard anyway.

The flight arrives in Hiroshima, and the teams hurry to get bus tickets. Border Patrol and Vanessa and Ralph get their tickets and board the bus, while Big Brother does it backward, arriving at the bus and asking where to get the tickets. Of course no one is going to help them. J.J. doesn’t even think they bother to read the clues; he thinks they just run. Blonde Rachel and Dave get a local to help them secure their tickets, while Big Brother has difficulty with this. Blonde Rachel and Dave hit the bus, while Big Brother misses it.

Redhead Rachel chews out Brendon for not listening to her when they have to catch the next bus. She tells him she’s done making decisions and that now he can make them all. He asks her to lower her voice on the bus. She counters that he acts like every other male and doesn’t respect her decisions, thinking he can do it all on his own.

The first bus arrives, and the teams look for tickets to get to Mijajima Island. While Ralph is asking around and representing the group looking for tickets, Dave points out a kiosk to get tickets on their own. Ralph somewhat pooh-poohs this, as Dave and Rachel sneak off to do it on their own, as he explains he’s not much of a follower. Ralph is told they need to get tickets from the kiosk. Rachel and Dave, however, have no idea how to read the Japanese instructions on the kiosk. They group together with the other two teams and take off to find help.

Big Brother are still on the bus and Brendon has struck up a friendship with a local who has lived here her whole life. Their bus arrives, and Rachel isn’t talking to him. They head inside to get tickets from the kiosk and get their tickets quickly before the other teams have found out how to do it yet. Border Patrol remarked earlier that Big Brother only ran and didn’t bother to look at the clue. Here it seems that they did more than the others.

While the other teams are arranging for their tickets from agents, Big Brother is already boarding. The train leaves at 22:00, and the other leaves at 22:40. All the teams but Blonde Rachel and Dave make the train. While waiting for the next train, Dave keeps talking about how they’re not followers. That’s great, but sometimes you need to be to keep up with the others. Rachel tells him missing the train is nothing to pout about. He just wants to focus on what’s important right now. Would that be the fact that everyone else is ahead of you because you insist on not being a follower?

The other three teams’ train arrives, and they get tickets for a ferry to Miyajima Island, and it’s turning into no easy feat to get there. The ferry leaves in three minutes, and it’s the last one of the night. Blonde Rachel and Dave are running to make it, while Border Patrol is of course hoping they don’t make it. Vanessa and Ralph celebrate when the other couple doesn’t make it.

Redhead Rachel says after the other couple won six legs of the race, it’s good to not see them in the lead for once. Maybe, just maybe, someone else can win a leg … like her and Brendon. Blonde Rachel and Dave find out the next ferry doesn’t leave until 6:25 AM and call it one minute wasted for a million dollars. She again blasts him for pouting, saying there’s nothing to do but wait it out. They look for a room for the night to stay for a few hours.

J.J. mentions that the only teams to make the ferry are he and Art, Big Brother, and “Conan and Kardashian.” They all depart the ferry to start looking for the clue. Ralph warns Vanessa to be careful of her foot. While everyone searches, Redhead Rachel finds a sign saying, “Your clue arrives with the Rising Sun.” They all realize this means it won’t be until tomorrow morning. There goes their lead over Rachel and Dave.

Early the next morning, while it’s still dark out, Rachel and Dave board the ferry, as he explains they talked last night about a few things and resolved some issues, deciding today is a new day, as they want to get back into the top two or three, if not first place. Once they depart the ferry, they meet up with Vanessa and Ralph who tell them they have to wait until sunrise. Blonde Rachel thinks “Dave can take his poopy pants off now.” Umm, that would be Captain Poopy Pants to you, ma’am.

A local arrives with a cart and baskets, as well as their clue. The clue tells the teams to make their way to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to look for the Atomic Bomb Dome. This is the site where the bomb was dropped. It holds a building that was partially destroyed by the bomb, but still stands as a reminder. Dave knows it will have a lasting impact, and Vanessa is resolving to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. It’s become more tangible to her to see the evidence here. As a physicist, Brendon studies radiation, but they use it to try and help people rid themselves of cancer. To see the destruction it has caused is hard to comprehend. Redhead Rachel mention the triumph of human spirit that is something to be admired, and thinks the Japanese cultivate it in their everyday lives.

All the teams quietly receive a clue telling them to travel by bullet train to the city of Osaka where they need to head to the TV 8 Studio to get the next clue. Once they arrive in Osaka, the teams differ on their ideas of how to arrive at TV 8. Blonde Rachel and Dave are deciding to travel via subway because of traffic, while Vanessa and Ralph are deciding to take a cab. Big Brother also takes the subway, while Border patrol catch a cab. Art mentions they asked locals who said the quickest way was by train, while Dave points to the crowd they’re traveling with, saying 100 locals can’t be wrong.

Vanessa and Ralph are the first team to arrive at TV 8 Studio, while Border Patrol are stuck in traffic. It’s a false alarm for the dating divorcees, though, as they’re at the old studio. Meanwhile, Border Patrol has found the new studio and the clue, a Roadblock. One person from each team has to play the game show “Bring That Chicken Home.” Art is the lucky one on this team. He comes out wearing a sparring helmet and knee pads, and J.J. thinks he looks so ridiculous, that it makes J.J. warm and fuzzy inside. Art will need to get three chickens from the ceiling while running on a huge treadmill.

Art isn’t exactly fleet-footed. He grabs a chicken, but falls down, then starts running again. J.J. laughs his ass off the whole time. He finally gets the third chicken, but has to figure out how to get to the end of the treadmill to jump off. He needs to take a breather.

Amazing Race 20 – Ep 10 – “OK, I’m Gonna Ride You Now”

Well, we sure saw this coming. After the troubles with health that Bopper and Mark experience last week, we knew it would be tough for them to pull off a comeback this week. Compounding the skepticism over their chances for a comeback was the revelation early on that they faced a three hour deficit and had no airport equalization to help balance things out. Our heroes were doomed this week – we knew it, and I can only speak for myself, but I came to terms with it early on.

Damn you Baby Rachel for actually giving me some false hope along the way. Because a team that is three hours behind, with no chance of an equalizer, and facing an extra task, has only two hopes for survival. First, someone really, REALLY screws up and/or they get a Fast Forward. And both are at play here as the show provides an unexpected third Fast Forward and Baby fails to do it.

Team Baby arrived at the Fast Forward in first place, something they have not often enjoyed for the vast majority of the Race, and for some reason was surprised at what Fast Forward awaited them in India. You would think that these two reality show veterans were familiar with Race history. India Fast Forwards in Seasons 5 and 7 – shave your head. And as the show reminds us, in the second example, the shaved heads went on to win the Race. And Joyce looked pretty amazing even without hair.

However, Baby doesn’t feel the same way. In a surreal exchange with Brendon, she laid out her reason for not shaving her head and earning the Fast Forward. Baby – “But I paid $500 for extensions…I’d be so sad.” And, “I’ve spent years and years to make my hair look good.” And, again later, “(Joyce) was really cute, skinny and pretty. I need hair to be pretty.” And there is the Tragedy of Rachel in a nutshell. A rather smart woman, who chooses to act like a moron and a baby, is incredibly insecure. She is a text book case study of how insecurity and female body imagery can mess with your mind. I guarantee that Brendon would have been supportive of her with no hair on her head. Hair grows back. And the $10,000 they would have won for winning the leg could have bought her tons of extensions.

The effect on the game from their decision to bail on the Fast Forward could have been huge. Army Wife and JJArt already had Fast Forwards. Stalker was already knee deep in the Detour when Baby arrived, and I can guarantee that Vanessa’s insecurity issues would have resulted in the same decision. What it meant was that Team Bopper was given a lifeline, the question would be whether or not the three-hour deficit and Speed Bump would be too much.

Of course, the boys were gung ho about doing the Fast Forward – and really, it was only Bopper because like Uchenna and Joyce, one team member was already bald. Granted, it is much more socially acceptable for a man to be bald than a woman – but it is still a big deal. And close observers knew that Bopper did it before it was revealed – for me, I predicted it when I noticed the Bopper interview was audio only during the Speed Bump. The show didn’t want to reveal a bald Bopper and spoil the fun. Bopper would have been all for cutting his legs off – although that would be a very strange challenge. Mark joked that Bald Bopper didn’t look as good as him, but he still looked good. Bopper put his face next to his African-American best friend and said, “Look here…twins!” They are awesome.

Bopper upon elimination summed up – “I have no words to describe it, I had no idea what I missing out there (in the world). Now I have no one to root for.

Because while this was going on – this team of best buddies from backwater Kentucky, learning about each other, themselves and the greater world around them – we had Baby and Vanessa sniping at each other. It was truly stupid. Vanessa seems to think that Baby cheated while hauling elephant crap. Phil coaxed it out of her at the mat as the two teams arrived at the same time. And then we got Episode 9 of Baby vs. Vanessa. I’m so tired of the mindless sniping between them and their never ending battle of trying to prove which one has less self esteem than the other. Let me settle it – you are both pretty, you are both probably marrying up and you both really need to stop talking.

JJArt began some intrateam fighting but they really didn’t do much other than struggle this week. They continued to be rude both behind other teams’ backs and in front of them – as this week they somewhat accurately pretended to have a Team Army Wife argument. When it all boils down to it – we have four teams left for the two-part finale and of the eight people remaining, I only have patience for one. Army Wife has great enthusiasm for the Race, she has talent, and she puts up hilariously with her chauvinist husband. That’s what I am reduced to – hoping that Major Dave wins because his wife is somewhat palatable. I have not been less excited about a Race finale since the Hippies competed against those d-bags in AR9. Sigh.

First Task – Glad to see a task featuring an Eastern religion where the Westerners are not either disrespectful or uncomfortable. In this one, they get a temple greeting while barefoot. Meanwhile a couple of guys with tigers drawn on their bellies dance. Vintage AR. Those wacky dancers led to the…

Speed Bump – Team Bopper had to paint on one of those tigers. It is hard to tell if this delay was the difference between JJArt’s completion of the Detour and Bopper’s head shaving. It is distinctly possible that the Speed Bump mattered not once, but twice this season.

Roadblock – In the Land of Coconut Trees, they use coconuts for tons of things. Just like on Survivor and Gilligan’s Island. In this case, teams must make 40 feet of rope out of husks. Many of them struggle. In the end, they have to spin the rope using a tiny machine and twisting a 10-inch nail. Many hands were bloodied. Roadblockers are Ralph, Dave, Art and Brendon.

DetourPachyderm or Pack A Box – Either decorate an elephant and then haul 15 wheelbarrows full of dung, or pack a ton of boxes with ginger roots for shipping. Why anyone would rather do the manual labor of ginger packing (which sounds like a British insult) rather than play with an elephant, I will never know. However, JJArt do just that and fall far behind the other three teams and become the edited drama alternative to Team Bopper for elimination.

The Amazing Race, Apr. 29 – Sequins, Extensions, and Manure

Last’s week’s non-elimination of Kentucky team Bopper and Mark is still just too incredible to believe. I’m sure hoping for something this week to even out the teams a little, like a flight or something. Otherwise, they won’t have a prayer, as I’m sure they’re far behind everyone else, and they still have a speed bump to complete as well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for them.

The first team to leave the pit stop in Cochin, India, are once again Blonde Rachel and Dave at 6:53 AM. They receive directions to head to a temple to receive a greeting from the head priest, along with the next clue. Rachel says it would be a huge disappointment to not win a million dollars at this point, as they do believe they are the strongest team in the Race. Hmm. Last time Border Patrol made a statement such as that, they were knocked down a peg and lost their lead. She feels the only thing that can beat them is themselves, not communicating and not being a team.

Big Brother team Redhead Rachel and Brendon leave at 7:20 AM. They recognize that their biggest competition is Blonde Rachel and Dave, and just want Vanessa and Ralph to go home because of all the smack they’ve been talking. They feel the same way about Border Patrol. They want to just keep their heads in the game and not get emotional. That’s obviously directed as Rachel.

Border Patrol agents Art and J.J. are the third to depart, leaving eight minutes later. Art calls this a continuation of no sleep, train rides, bus rides, taxis, and being in third world countries. He also admits he has a cold, and feels it has affected his sharpness. Interestingly enough, we didn’t hear about it when they were in the lead. J.J. calls this the time to dig deep and man up. They walk along a highway asking for directions to the temple.

Vanessa and Ralph leave at 7:32 AM. He explains they always race as if they’re in last place, and funnily enough, they usually are, or at least very close to it. Vanessa isn’t interested in any physical-related activity, which he attributes to her being old. He hopes it’s not a physical activity that beats them.

Kentucky team Bopper and Mark are still sitting in their hotel room. Mark looks like he’s passed out, and Bopper explains his buddy is dealing with heat stroke and hasn’t been right since the dance Roadblock in the last leg. He actually has an IV running through him, and it’s still three hours before they are due to start their leg of the race.

Blonde Rachel and Dave arrive at the temple, get their offering from the high priest, which is something piled up on a huge leaf, and they also get the next clue. Dave mentions the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they now share paying homage to this high priest. The clue has a Fast Forward, but they can’t do it since they’ve already done it one time during the Race. Instead, they are to make their way to Pattanacaud Coir Mats and Matting.

Big Brother arrives at the Temple, and she states it’s “not necessarily my religion,” but to experience it is amazing, as you can read about it, but when you get to experience it, it is very spiritual. Brendon calls it an honor just to step foot in these temples. Knowing Blonde Rachel and Dave can’t do the Fast Forward, Redhead Rachel suggests she and Brendon do it. They need to make their way to another temple and find two priests.

Vanessa and Ralph are the next to arrive at the temple, before Border Patrol. They see the Fast Forward and decide to play it safe and just make the final three. Or rather, he decides that while she’s busy dancing with the locals who have big cats painted on their bodies. Border Patrol arrive and assume someone earlier grabbed the Fast Forward. Blonde Rachel and Dave are only a couple kilometers away from Mats and Matting, but their cabdriver needed to stop and get gas. They hope everyone is having the same difficulty.

Brendon and Redhead Rachel arrive at the Fast Forward and read it’s a custom in India to express gratitude by having their heads shaved. They reflect back to Uchenna and Joyce doing the same Fast Forward. Brendon says he’s done it a million times as a swimmer. Rachel doesn’t want to do it, saying she paid $500 for extensions, and it will make her sad. She asks if he wants her to, and he says it’s her choice. She decides not to do it, but they keep discussing it even in the rickshaw on their way to Mats and Matting.

Vanessa and Ralph are the first to hit Mats and Matting, and I think it might be the first time for them to take the lead in the Race. It’s a Roadblock. One person from each team must use the husks of coconut to spin forty feet of rope, then spin four large bundles onto one spindle to get their next clue. Ralph decides he’ll be doing it and chooses the oldest woman there it seems to show him how to do it. Vanessa feels good about it, thinking he can do anything.

Blonde Rachel and Dave arrive, and he decides he’ll be doing it. Border Patrol are the next to arrive, and Art grabs it right away, as J.J. agrees he’d be good at it. Ralph is still trying to get the hang of it. The men are dressed in traditional garb, skirts, and Blonde Rachel announces Dave looks pretty good in a skirt. Vanessa then proclaims Ralph is one of the few boyfriends she’s had who hasn’t cross-dressed. That response gets a classic look from Blonde Rachel. Art is still getting suited up,

An hour before they’re due to start the next leg, Mark says he feels one-hundred percent better and has drunk enough water to float a battleship. “The sun is shining on these two old dogs, and we’re going to make it count.” Bopper states they owe too much to their families and the county they’re from to give up. Mark still thinks they’re going to win. I think they actually already have.

Back at the husk spinning, the three guys are still working on it, with Dave asking Ralph why they’re the ones doing it. Ralph says he had thought it looked easy, but his rope keeps snapping and he has to keep paying attention to it. He looks at the example and figures his to be a huge mess in comparison.

Amazing Race 20 – Ep 9 – The Trials And Tribulations Of Mark

Ladies and gentlemen…we have in the midst of this annoying season of the Amazing Race, arguably the best non-elimination leg in show history. I must admit that I was riveted by this episode, even though I rightfully predicted the non-elim, and that from the outset, it was obvious that Team Bopper was going to finish in last place. This could have been an awful, boring episode filled with the same collection of fairly awful people. But it wasn’t.

Because the theme was The Trials And Tribulations of Mark, and those guys S.O.L.D. it. And that’s why Team Bopper is so good, and that’s why The Amazing Race has been usually so incredible. They manage to find real people doing real things. Some are on there to mug for the camera and get attention, but the vast majority of the show’s Racers have been authentic, real people. And Team Bopper might be one of the most authentic ever. The obvious choice is to compare them to David and Mary because of the poor Kentucky thing. But while David and Mary were a bit insufferable and really not good Racers, Team Bopper is not. They show more affection for each other than some of the married and dating couples – including ALL of the remaining ones this season.

In this episode, I am going to focus on Team Bopper, even though there were some important things to talk about including JJArt’s small comeuppance and a lecture on sexism on reality shows. The Bopps’ leg started out with a first place departure marred by Bopper’s knee injury. Hinted at last week, it was serious this week. Bopper was not gonna be boppin’. So when they arrived in India and had to make their way to the bus depot, Bopper’s inability to run put them in last place immediately. Bopper was “walkin’ it, Blood.” Get this dude his own show.

The problem was compounded by the bus ride. As we learned earlier, Mark has terrible motion sickness issues. What started as a comedic moment turned into a real plot point and some budding drama and tragedy. Mark was going to have to shoulder the load this week, and he’s getting sick on a bus. At the Roadblock, Bopper was unable to do it, despite admitting that he is, in fact, the better dancer. And Mark struggled, and struggled. And it was probably even worse because he was sick, and it was about 100 degrees.

Getting back to the “real” aspects of Team Bopper, let’s focus for a moment on Bopper and his reaction to his friend. At first, he leaned on him, knowing that he couldn’t do anything. Then on the bus, he was clearly amused by his friend’s discomfort. Just as any of us would. He said, “(Mark) ain’t got much rhythm, but he’s got heart.” So, he was all in with Mark at the dance. And then Mark couldn’t do it. And Bopper started to get very concerned. He floated the possibility that I know I started to think of while watching – taking the penalty. It was clear that the other teams had passed them by and that Mark was nowhere close to being able to do the task. They were in last, and the pit they were in was close to a bottomless one. Their only hope was a non-elim, and they were going to be in last one way or the other, and who knows if you get to have an equalizer the next time around. It made sense.

But Mark didn’t want to quit. He tried and tried, and failed and failed. He was covered in sweat. Bopper told him “to hell with that money.” But Mark wanted to continue for his kid – either because of the money, or because of pride, or some combination. He failed for the 9th, 10tth and 11th times. Bopper told him they “came here as friends and were gonna leave there as friends.” It was the Tragedy of Mark.

However, as they gave up and planned on limping to the Mat, a very suspicious moment took place. All of a sudden Bopper is urging him to go once more, and a very involved choreographer was nudging Mark to get back on stage. It was to make it seem like they had one more attempt left, and lo and behold, Mark did it. I think that all of the other teams had arrived at that moment, and the producers knew it was non-elim and did not want Team Bopper in a giant, penalty-induced hole that would make the next leg impossible.

So the boys arrive at the Mat in last and Bopper unleashes this line, “Everyone can use some extra money, but you can’t replace this guy.” Nice. They are saved again – and before the conspiracy theorists come out, other teams have been saved by non-elim multiple times, ie: Chris/Alex, Flo/Zach, BJ/Tyler…hmm, notice a pattern?

JJArt’s small comeuppance – Look, I’ve gone on about this a lot; I have wanted to like these guys all season long. They’ve done great things, and then some crappy things. But this week I found myself enjoying a bit of schadenfraude with them. Watching JJ failing over and over at the Roadblock was tons of fun for me to watch after they repeatedly laid on the arrogance over the last few weeks. However, the best part of the JJArt story line was the head-to-head battle playing cricket against Team Baby. The task required both teammates to hit a pitched cricket ball to a certain marker, either on the ground or in the air. JJ and Brendon did it quickly, but Art and Baby struggled. And then I found myself rooting for Baby, and that was really disconcerting. She beat him and it was embarrassing to Art and that was comic gold.

And now a lecture on sexism on reality shows. This goes out to Art, Brendon and Dave. Just because JJ and Mark can’t dance, doesn’t mean men can’t dance. And because I know this is part of that crap – it doesn’t mean straight men can’t dance. Emmitt Smith won Dancing With The Stars – you want to mess with him? No, they sucked at the task because they have no skills. There are plenty of women with no skills – I direct you to the full body dry heave set to music. And Brendon, having a woman for her rhythm, but worries because of her emotions is sexist. If you said, it’s good having RACHEL on your team because she has rhythm, but bad because RACHEL is uber-emotional, that would be accurate. It ain’t women – it’s your woman.

And Dave, amazingly, you were not sexist at the dance – potentially because your wife wasn’t there long enough. But then you had to tumble out of a 1950s sitcom and goof about how your wife can’t drive and she needs to listen to her husband. You were literally a back seat driver. And incredibly, not remotely the most sexist person of the episode.

So, cool tasks, some real drama, some outrage and great comedy moments. Great episode, Show. Thanks.

The Amazing Race, April 22 – When It Becomes “Truly Amazing”

I’m afraid to watch The Amazing Race tonight. I’ve seen and read previews, and my sister just told me she shed a few tears while watching it, so it’s scaring me a little. I’m worried. Definitely worried.

From Tanzania, Kentucky team Bopper and Mark look for medical help in their hotel room. Mark says his leg is in pretty bad shape after injuring it a few weeks ago getting out of the safari truck. He’s devastated that it could take him out of the Race, as it’s important to him and Mark, and they need the money. The medic tells him if he keeps a brace on his knee, it should be enough to keep him in the Race, and he’s definitely relieved.

Kentucky leave at 9:06 PM. Their clue tells them to fly to Cochin, India, and make their way to a bus station to catch a bus to Sacred Heart College. Mark is still worried about Bopper’s knee, and says if he has to do all the running, he will, just to stay in the game. Bopper announces, “Kentucky is still in the game, Baby.”

Blonde Rachel and Dave leave one minute later, and he mentions that their relationship with Border Patrol agents Art and J.J. is pretty much done after they didn’t U-Turn Big Brother team Brendon and Rachel last week. He knows J.J. in particular is upset. She explains they aren’t about to do J.J.’s dirty work. If the relationship can be restored, that’s good, otherwise, they’ll just continue on. They reach the travel agency just after Kentucky. Their flight doesn’t leave until 7:40 the next morning, and Rachel knows Border Patrol should be showing up any minute. She’s wondering if they’ll be asking them questions about their itinerary.

Border Patrol leave at 9:32 PM, and they discuss their agreement with Rachel and Dave to U-Turn Big Brother. Art knows they got screwed over by “Major Dave.” He announces, “We’re done, Major Dave; take your Army ass and get out of my face.” They reach the travel agency and find the other two teams there. They ask to get tickets and for use of the Internet. They ignore Rachel and Dave completely and confirm the 7:40 AM flight is the soonest. Rachel explains they aren’t there to make friends, but win. Kentucky call Border Patrol babies. Meanwhile, Border Patrol is grousing that Rachel and Dave didn’t even say hi and call them out for not having integrity.

Big Brother leaves at 11:55 PM, and Redhead Rachel mentions being U-Turned by Border Patrol on the last leg. Regardless, they survived it, and are over it, feeling they proved to everyone that they are good competitors. They make it to the travel agency and book their flight, which is assumably the same as the others. Vanessa and Ralph leave at 1:31 AM and discussing “Big Baby” U-Turning them. They’re just happy that they still have a U-Turn left to use, if one should happen to pop up. The make it to the travel agency and book the same flight and use the computer for research, finding another flight that will arrive earlier than the others.

Vanessa and Ralph arrive in Cochin first and ask to see a bus schedule. The others arrive while they’re checking into the schedule, and Vanessa growls at losing their lead. Everyone heads out to the bus terminal, and Blonde Rachel and Dave hit the first bus out of there, while Big Brother and Border Patrol hit the second one, and Vanessa and Ralph the third one. Kentucky are trying to figure out where and how to get tickets. They find the terminal, and are concerned to not find any of the other teams. Mark asks if the bus has already left, and told it has, but it will come again soon.

In the buses, Brendon is feeling he is so much bigger than everyone else, as the locals all seem to be smaller than him. As is the usual with teams racing through India, Art seems about ready to vomit because of the smell on the bus. Blonde Rachel mentions India is a very busy place with lots of people and cars, and Dave just finds it very cultural. Kentucky finally catches a bus, and Mark is worried about getting sick. Wait until he catches a whiff.

Blonde Rachel and Dave are the first team to reach Sacred Heart College and find a Roadblock. One person from each team must work on the set of a Bollywood movie and learn a dance routine. After, they’ll join a group of extras and perform it for a Bollywood director. When their routine is “camera-ready,” they’ll receive the next clue. Dave decides that Rachel has all the right right moves and should be doing this challenge. She runs off with an extra to switch clothes. Dave is just happy that this eliminates the dancing for him as he didn’t inadvertently select it.

Border Patrol arrives at the college and argue over who has to do the Roadblock. Art has a pretty good argument. He had to do the last dancing Roadblock. J.J. can’t argue with that one and agrees to do it. Dave laughs a little at the thought of seeing J.J. dance, as Redhead Rachel accepts the challenge for her team, and Vanessa does for hers. Dave wonders how many males who are federal law enforcement oriented are also quality dancers.

Blonde Rachel starts learning the dance, saying she was in dance all through her school years, but has never danced Bollywood style. Dave knows if he was stuck doing it, they’d be there for several hours. Redhead Rachel runs out and is lucky to find a green group to dance with. She thinks they have fun outfits with the sequins and glitter. Ralph thinks Vanessa will do okay at this, as she actually has some Puerto Rican in her. This leaves J.J. as the only “dude” dancing from the Race so far, as Kentucky still hasn’t arrived yet.

Mark is having a hard time in the bus, but has his barf bag ready. He talks about the smog in the air, and says if you stick your head out the window, it just gets worse. The “dancers” are learning the routine, and the girls all look like they’re having no problem, but J.J. is definitely having his struggles, saying he feels like a “fat Elvis.”

Kentucky finally make it to the college, as the others are getting tired of learning this dance, referring to it as the “never-ending dance routine.” Art thinks the “whole arm-foot stepping think is jacking” J.J. up a little. Mark is already sick, but because of Bopper’s knee, Mark has to do the routine. Brendon asks Bopper who Mark’s rhythm is. “He ain’t got much rhythm, but he’s got heart.”

J.J. is the first one to go up and test his dancing knowledge, and Redhead Rachel can’t figure that out, referring to him as a “clumsy oaf.” He takes his spot on the stage, and Art jams along while J.J. dances. He doesn’t look good, and raises his arms while the others have them down. Blonde Rachel calls it terrible, and Art proclaims, “Dudes can’t dance like chicks; it just ain’t gonna happen.”