Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Amazing Race 28 Episode 3 “Bros Being Jocks”

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I know that it’s never been as popular as Survivor or Big Brother but I have always absolutely loved The Amazing Race.

While it may not feature as many surprise twists as Survivor nor as many opportunities for snarky commentary as Big Brother, The Amazing Race does offer up the spectacle of a race that literally spans the globe.  I love seeing all of the different countries that the team visit.  I love seeing which teams manage to adjust to each country and which teams insist on acting like a bunch of obnoxious tourists.  I love the fact that, though annoying teams may get far, they rarely actually win the race.  (Rachel Reilly’s meltdown at the finish line of Amazing Race 24 may be one of the greatest moments in the history of reality television.)

Most of all, I love Phil Keoghan.  Just as the hyper-critical Jeff Probst is the perfect host for the ruthless and unsentimental game that is Survivor, hyper-sensitive Phil is the perfect host for a race around the world.

What I do not love is that The Amazing Race has been moved from Sunday to Friday night.  I am hardly ever home on Friday night.  Of course, I always set the DVR to record it but watching it late is just not the same as watching it when it originally airs.

For instance, when the 24th season of The Amazing Race started three weeks ago, I was on a plane flying to San Antonio for Valentine’s Day weekend.  And then last week, I was at the movies.  However, tonight, I have a cold so I was actually home to watch the third episode of The Amazing Race 24.

And what better way to start my coverage of The Amazing Race 24 than with this episode?

When I first heard that all this season’s racers would be social media celebrities, I was not optimistic.  It sounded far too gimmicky and, as we all learned from that season when half the teams were couples and half were blind dates, The Amazing Race doesn’t need gimmicks.  But, three episodes in, I’m happy to say that The Amazing Race is not going overboard with the whole internet celebrity thing.  Instead, The Amazing Race 24 is playing out like a pretty standard season of The Amazing Race, which is exactly what most Race fans were hoping for.

To quickly recap, the first episode of The Amazing Race 24 took the racers to Mexico.  For the first time ever, the first leg turned out to be a non-eliminated leg.  Scott and Blair were the last to reach the pit stop but were not eliminated.

The second episode of this season saw the teams racing to Columbia.  Scott and Blair had to do an extra task but still managed to finish in 9th place.  Flight attendant Marty and her daughter Hagan came in last and were the first team to be eliminated from the race.

That brings us to tonight’s episode.  The racers were still in Colombia.  After going through a claustrophobic catacomb (which would have totally freaked me out), the racers got their first detour and had to either work as a bus conductor or play a game where they had hit three explosive targets with a disk.  After the detour, the roadblock involved tracking down and collecting three matching backpacks.

All in all, it was a pretty typical leg of the race.  There were no great surprises about who came in first or who got eliminated but that’s okay.  We’re early in the season and right now, we are still getting to know the teams.  We’re still figuring out who we like and who we dislike.

Here are my impressions of the racers so far:

Coming in first were Brodie and Kurt.  Brodie is a professional frisbee player.  I had no idea there was such a thing as a professional frisbee player.  Anyway, Brodie and Kurt are this year’s jocks.  So far, they’re a strong team but they’re kind of boring to watch.

Coming in second were Tyler and Korey.  Tyler and Korey have quickly emerged as one of the strongest teams in the Race.  During the first leg, they finished in 2nd place.  They won the 2nd leg.  And then they came in 2nd again.  Tyler and Korey are a strong team and, outside of the race, Tyler has raised a lot of money and awareness for various charities that are dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBT youth so I hope they continue to do well.

Coming in third were Burnie and Ashley!  Burnie and Ashley are dating and so far, they’re working really well together.  They haven’t gotten much of a chance to show much personality but they seem like they’ll be around for at least a few legs.

Coming in fourth were Dana and Matt.  Dana and Matt are dancers and I was actually familiar with their YouTube videos long before I ever heard they were going to be on The Amazing Race.  In fact, I was such a fan that I am really disappointed to see they are shaping up to be this season’s couple-that-won’t-stop-fighting.  Dana and Matt won the first leg but finished both the 2nd and 3rd leg in fourth place.  If they keep fighting, they’re going to be eliminated.

Coming in fifth were Brittany and Jessica, who are Instagram models.  They finished the first and the 2nd legs in 7th place so tonight was something of an improvement for them.

Coming in sixth were Shari LaBront and her son, Cole.  While Shari and Cole aren’t a weak team, they’re still not particularly strong.  That said, they have moved steadily up the ranks.  They ended the 1st leg in 9th place, the 2nd leg in 8th, and now they’ve made it to 6th.

Coming in seventh, Erin and Joslyn.  The commercials for tonight’s episode made it sound as if Erin was going to have a massive panic attack in the catacombs but … no.  She was claustrophobic and I sympathized with her because I’m the same way when it comes to heights.  But otherwise, it really wasn’t that big a deal.

Coming in eighth, Scott and Blair.  I’m sure that Scott is a really nice person and Blair is adorable but if I’ve ever seen a team that is destined to be eliminated, it’s this one.  I hope I’m wrong because they really are likable but it’s just hard to imagine them lasting for another 10 legs.

Coming in ninth, Zach and Rachel!  I was actually a big Zach fan long before this season of the Race.  I’ll include some of his videos at the end of this post.  But, oh my God, is this team ever struggling!  They nearly got eliminated during this leg.  They need to start paying attention to detail or it’s going to be a short race for them.

And finally, coming in tenth, were Darius and Cameron.  They seemed like such genuinely nice guys.  I was sorry to see them eliminated.

That was it for this leg of The Amazing Race.  Next week, the teams go to Switzerland!

Here’s Dana and Matt dancing.

And here’s two of Zach’s incredibly cute Jedi Kitten videos!

Go Zach!  Or, at the very least, Go Jedi Kittens!

Happy racing,

Lisa Marie

 

 

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Survivor 32 Episode 2 “Kindergarten Camp”

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Wow, that was a weird episode.

At first, I didn’t think that it would be that strange.  It was playing out like a typical early episode of Survivor.  People are still getting to know each other.  Alliances are still being made.  Idols are being searched for.  Some of it was fun to watch but none of it was particularly surprising.

On the Beauty Tribe, Caleb and Tai have a fun little bromance going.  As I mentioned in my previous Survivor post, it’s amazing how much more likable Caleb is on Survivor than he was on Big Brother.  When he wasn’t trying to kiss Caleb, Tai managed to discover a clue to the hidden immunity idol.  However, to get the idol, he has to climb up a huge tree and retrieve a key.  Looking at the tree and looking at Tai, I have a hard time believing that he’s going to get up there.  It almost seems as if they specifically hid the idol so that it would take two people to retrieve it.  So, I guess it’s a pretty good thing that Tai has made friends with Caleb.

(I really do think that Caleb is emerging as a legitimate threat to win this season.  He’s athletic and likable,  He may not be book smart but he does seem to be smart enough to take advantage of whatever situation he finds himself in.  The only real danger for Caleb is that he might be such a strong player that, post-merge, he becomes everyone’s target.)

On the Brains Tribe, Debbie is annoying everyone, including me.  Seriously, Debbie — CALM DOWN!  Debbie and Joe both seem to think that the pathogens in water are harmless and Liz is having a hard time adjusting to life on the smart beach.

And then, we have the Brawn Tribe.

Oh my God, how I hate the Brawn Tribe!

Basically, the Brawn Tribe is dominated by Jason and Scot, two alpha males who spend all day sleeping and whining.  Even after Alecia, after five hours of effort, managed to start a fire for them, Jason and Scot were both determined to vote her out.  Scot, at the very least, has figured out that Alecia has a name.  Jason is still calling her “blondie” because Jason is a condescending loser.

I don’t think anyone was shocked that the Brawn Tribe lost another immunity challenge.  The Brawn Tribe sucks.  It sucks largely because Jason and Scot suck.  The obvious solution to some of their problems would be to vote out either Jason or Scot.  Usually, I roll my eyes whenever the survivors start talking about forming an All-Girls Alliance because those alliances never seem to last for more than two episodes before everyone ends up melting down over nothing.  But still, as soon as I heard they were going after Jason, I was excited.  I could not wait to see Jason get blindsided.

However, this time, the inevitable alliance meltdown took less than two episodes.  It look less than one day.  After deciding that she, Alecia, and Cydney should join together to get rid of Jason, Jennifer suddenly had a chance of heart before tribal council.  She told Cydney that they should just go along with the boys and vote out Alecia.

That was when I started yelling at the TV.  Seriously, how does that make any sense?  Jason and Scot bring nothing to the tribe, they’re terrible at challenges, and neither one seems like they would stick with their former tribemates after merging.

But then things got even stranger.  At Tribal, Jeff Probst asked — as he always does — whether or not there had been any scheming or plotting back at camp.  A smart person would just say, “No,” and try to keep things moving until it was time to vote.  A smart person knows that you don’t want to say too much at Tribal Council.

However, this is the Brawn Tribe!  Remember what Scot told us in the previous episode?  They’re not beautiful.  They’re not smart.  They’re strong!  (Except, to judge from the season so far, they’re not really that strong either…)  These are not smart people.  These are very dumb people.

As soon as Jeff asked the question, Jennifer immediately started rambling about how there had been a plan to get rid of Jason and then tried to blame it all on Alecia, despite the fact that Jennifer was the one who originally came up with the plan.  I watched in amazement as Jennifer just kept talking and talking.  With each word that she uttered, the rest of her tribe trusted her less and less.  At the very least, Jennifer’s meltdown proved that she wasn’t exactly a reliable ally.

Before Jennifer started talking, everyone was planning on voting for Alecia.  But, when it came time to vote, Cydney and Jason joined with Alecia and voted for Jennifer.  And so, Jennifer was the second person voted out.

Seriously, what happened!?  As far as I can guess, that earwig that crawled into Jennifer’s ear was still inside of her, chewing away at her common sense and controlling her mind.  “Nom nom nom,” the earwig said, “keep talking, keep talking…”

That’s the only solution that makes any sense!

That’s it for now!

Beware of ear wigs,

Lisa Marie

Some Late Thoughts On The First Episode of Survivor 32!

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Hi, everyone!

I have to start this post out with a big apology.  My plan is to offer up a weekly recap of the 32nd season of my favorite reality show, Survivor!  However, I was extremely busy last week and, as a result, I am only now getting a chance to sit down and write about the first episode of Survivor: Kaoh Rong.  I apologize for the late start.  In the future, my Survivor recaps will always be either on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

As I sit here typing this, we only have a few hours before the 2nd episode of Survivor 32.  So, I’m just going to offer up a few quick thoughts on the first episode and what we’ve seen of the various castaways so far.

First off, I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed when I heard that this was going to be another Brains, Brawn, and Beauty season.  The last time they tried this, the game ended up being dominated by whiny Spencer, annoying Kass, even more annoying Tony, and blissfully unaware Woo.  I understand that each season of Survivor has to have a gimmick but hopefully, they will not go as overboard with BB&B as they did with the whole Blue Collar vs. White Collar vs. No Collar thing.

As is typical for the start of the season, last week’s episode largely dealt with everyone getting to know each other, building a camp, and learning that it’s not going to be an easy 38 days.  We’re starting out with three 6-member tribes, with membership determined by the traits that the members use in their everyday life.

The Brain Tribe (Chan Loh):

During the first part of the episode, The Brain Tribe seemed pretty hapless but they came together during the immunity challenge and won decisively.  The Brains Tribe is made up of:

  1. Peter Baggenstos — Who?  Peter did not make much of an impression on me.
  2. Aubry Bracco — Aubry was dehydrated and having a panic attack after just one day.  It’s a good thing her tribe won immunity or Aubry probably would have been sent home.
  3. Joe Del Campo — Joe is a former FBI agent.  At 72, he’s the oldest competitor this season.  Joe seems like a hard worker and I assume, with his background in hostage negotiation, he’ll be a capable strategist.
  4. Neal Gottlieb — Neal seems like he should be a strong competitor.  Not only does he have a background in the Peace Corp but he’s also a very successful businessman.
  5. Liz Markham — Liz, like Peter, didn’t make much of an impression on me.
  6. Debbie Wanner — Debbie comes on very strong and seems to know what she’s talking about.  However, that might be her downfall because, to judge from last week’s episode, she never stops talking.

The Beauty Tribe (Gondol):

My favorite tribe!  The last time that Survivor did the whole Brains, Brawn, and Beauty thing, the Beauty Tribe was a huge disappointment.  This season, they appear to be a lot stronger.  Along with the Brains Tribe, they won immunity.  The members of the Beauty Tribe:

  1. Michele Fitzgerald — Michele and the other girls in the tribe quickly bonded.  Will this be the year that the fabled All-Girl’s Alliance actually last more than two episodes?
  2. Anna Khait — I like Anna because she reminds me of someone I know.  At this early stage, that’s the easiest way to judge these players.
  3. Nick Maiorano — Nick seems like he could be a strong player. At the very least, he’s nice to look at.
  4. Caleb Reynolds — Oh my God, beast mode cowboy!  I honestly could not stand Caleb when he was on Big Brother but I actually enjoyed watching him in last week’s episode.  Survivor is probably a better showcase for him than Big Brother was.
  5. Julia Sokolowski — At 18, Julia is the youngest competitor this season.
  6. Tai Trang — I hate to say it but I’m not sure why Tai was on the Beauty Tribe.  He seemed more appropriate for the Brains Tribe.  Anyway, Tai is going to be voted off as soon as the Beauty Tribe doesn’t win immunity.  He simply does not fit in with the rest of the tribe and he pretty much shot himself in the foot by being so obvious about searching for the immunity idol.

The Brawn Tribe (To Tang):

God, I hate this tribe.  With all of its arrogant Alpha Males, it reminds me of the Blue Collar Tribe from Survivor: Worlds Apart.  The sooner most of these jerks get voted out the better,  The Brawn Tribe lost immunity, went to Tribal, and basically acted like a bunch of jerks.  Bleh.  Get rid of them all.

  1. Darnell Hamilton — Darnell was the first person voted off of Survivor.  He seemed like a nice guy but he was blamed for the immunity loss.  He nearly made it.  The first time they voted, it was a tie between him and Alecia.  But, when it came time for the revote, everyone in the tribe voted for Darnell.
  2. Cydney Gallon — Cydney is one of the more tolerable members of To Tang.
  3. Alecia Holden — Poor Alecia.  Not only was she nearly voted off the island but the jerks in the tribe refuse to even learn her name.  Instead, they just call her “blondie.”  I was torn during tribal council because I didn’t want to see Darnell voted out but, at the same time, I was infuriated by all of the sexism that was directed towards Alecia.
  4. Kyle Jason — Jason is this season’s obnoxious alpha male.  Get him and his tattoos out of here!
  5. Jennifer Lanzetti — Jennifer got a gigantic insect trapped inside of her ear.  It totally freaked me out!  AGCK!
  6. Scot Pollard — Scot is this season’s former athlete.  He had the quote of the episode when he proudly declared, “We’re not beautiful, we’re not smart, but we’re strong!”  Can we vote off Scot as soon as we get rid of Jason?  Thanks!

Anyway, Darnell was the first to voted off the island.  Who will be voted out tonight?  We’ll find out in just a few hours!

Stay supple,

Lisa Marie

 

Beware of Earwigs!

Beware of Earwigs!