Monthly Archives: January 2018

The Amazing Race 30 Episode 5: The Claws Are Out

Hi y’all!

Tonight, on The Amazing Race, the drama continued as the racers flew to Prague and dealt with the first double U-turn of the season.  In previous seasons, a u-turn usually meant that the leg would turn out to be a non-elimination leg.  That didn’t happen tonight.  Trevor and Chris got u-turned, were the last to arrive at the pit stop, and were eliminated from the race.

I was sorry to see them go.  Over the past few episodes, the violinists had really started to grow on me.  I never thought they would make it to the end of the race but, at the same time, I was hoping they would at least outlast Lucas and Brittany.

There really wasn’t much doubt that Trevor and Chris would be eliminated.  Tonight’s show was edited to make it look as if the race was tighter than it actually was but, in the end, Trevor and Chris were pretty much doomed as soon as Cody and Jessica u-turned them.

As for Cody and Jessica, they have now managed to alienate everyone in the race.  At the Kafka Detour, Jessica worked with Brittany and Alex but still made sure that she was the first one to give the judges the correct phrase.  Brittany, of course, got upset about it but you know what?  This is a race and Jessica did what she had to do.  Brittany needs to get over herself.

Here’s how the teams did tonight, in order of finish:

Coming in first, Kristi and Jen.  Kristi and Jen are an amazingly strong team.  Are they ever going to have a bad leg?  A part of me suspects that they’re being set up for a big fall.  But right now, Kristi and Jen really do seem to be the team to beat.

Coming in second, Eric and Daniel.  Suddenly, I’m starting to like Eric and Daniel.  They’ve suddenly emerged as a strong team.  I love their positive attitude and their refusal to even consider giving up.

Coming in third, Henry and Evan.  They had some rough spots tonight but still managed to finish in third place.  That said, I’m getting a little tired of listening to Evan brag about how rational she is.

Coming in fourth, Alex and Conor.  Team Goofy did fairly well during this leg of the race.

Coming in fifth, Brittany and Lucas.  Brittany and Lucas struggled with direction during tonight’s episode and they fell from 1st place to 5th.  As of right now, they appear to be destined to be a very boring married couple.

Coming in sixth, Cody and Jessica.  They’re a strong team but, for the past few legs, they’ve had bad luck.  There’s another U-turn next week and I get the feeling that everyone’s going to be targeting them.

Coming in seventh, Trevor and Chris.  Bye bye, violinists.  At least they appeared to have had a good time while they were on the race.

Next week should be interesting!  Not only will there be a double u-turn but there will also be a some sort of team shake-up.  Next week, The Amazing Race moves to 9 eastern, 8 central.  It will air immediately after the premiere of Celebrity Big Brother, which I will be covering over on the Big Brother Blog!

Lisa Marie

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The Amazing Race 30 Episode 4 “Gotta Put Your Sole Into It”

Hi, y’all!

Tonight, we had a two hour episode of The Amazing Race.  With season 30 scheduled to air its final episode in less than a month, on February 21st to be exact, I imagine that we’re going to have a few more two hours episodes in the weeks to come.

This episode saw the teams going from Morocco to France, which looked as beautiful as ever.  (I always enjoy it when the Race goes to France.)  At the end of the first hour, Shawn and Cedric were the last team to step up to the mat and, sadly, they were eliminated.  At the end of the second hour, the same fate befell Joey and Tim, the competitive eaters.  So, that means Phil will no longer be able to make any jokes about them eating their way out of trouble.  I was sad to see Shawn and Cedric go.  To be honest, Joey and Tim never made much of an impression on me.

At this point, all of the remaining teams are legitimate contenders to win.  The producers did a good job with casting this season.  Every team has had their strong moments and every team has had a moment or two (or three) of weakness.  Probably the most consistently strong team has been Kristi and Jen, who have yet to finish anywhere lower than third place.  However, tonight, Brittany and Lucas came in first at the end of the 5th leg after coming in 8th at the end of the 4th.  Eric and Daniel, who have consistently been finishing at the back of the pack, suddenly surged forward and managed to finish in third place.  Meanwhile, Cody and Jessica went from 2nd to 6th and Alex and Conor went from 1st to 5th.  It’s an unpredictable race.

This episode also saw the return of the Head-to-Head at the end of the 4th leg.  I’m still not a fan of the Head-to-Head and I hope it’s an experiment that will not be repeated in future seasons.  Tonight, even if they hadn’t had the head-to-head challenge, Shawn and Cedric would have still been the last to arrive and they would have been eliminated.  As a result, it didn’t feel as egregiously unfair as it did at the end of the 2nd leg.

Here’s how everyone did, in order of how they finished the fifth leg of the race:

Coming in first, Brittany and Lucas!  As I said, they went from finishing 8th during the 4th leg to finishing 1st during the 5th leg.  At the pit stop, Lucas asked Brittany to marry him, which I would have been excited about if I actually liked either one of them.  But since they’re both kind of annoying, it didn’t really do much for me.  If anything, the show spent way too much time on Lucas’s proposal.  I get the feeling the show’s editors needed to fill some space because they really dragged all that out.

Coming in second, Kristi and Jen!  They’re consistently strong and I’ll be shocked if they’re not one of the final three teams racing to the finish line.

Coming in third, Eric and Daniel!  After struggling for most of the race, things finally started to click for them during the fifth leg of the race.  It’ll be interesting to see if they can take advantage of this new momentum or if it was just a fluke.

Coming in fourth, Henry and Evan!  Team Yale is still in it, though they’ve struggled a bit in some of the last legs.  Evan went overboard about her “broken” tooth.  The way she described it, it sounded as if she had knocked an entire tooth out of her mouth, instead of just getting a small chip.

Coming in fifth, Alex and Conor!  Team Goofy.  They came in first during the fourth leg and then fell all the way to fifth during the next leg.  Obviously, they can win but they need to work on being consistently strong.  After a few more legs, there’s not going to be much room for error.

Coming in sixth, Cody and Jessica!  Cody and Jessica are a strong team, though I don’t know if they’re strong enough to actually make it to the finale.  I could easily see them getting eliminated right before the final leg of the race.  That just seems to be the way their luck is running.  Next episode, there’s going to be U-turn and it wouldn’t surprise me if Cody and Jessica got U-turned.  That said, U-turns are almost always used during non-elimination legs.  (That’s one reason why I would never U-turn anyone.)  We’ll have to see what happens with that.

Coming in seventh, Trevor and Chris!  Trevor and Chris are finally showing some personality.  They’re snarky and fun but they have yet to finish higher than 4th place.  They’re going to need to pick up the pace if they don’t want to get eliminated.

Coming in 8th and getting eliminated, Joey and Tim.  They seemed like nice guys but, as I said, neither one really made a huge impression on me.  For the most part, they only seemed to be on the show so Phil could make jokes about their occupation.

And, of course, at the end of the 4th leg, Shawn and Cedric came in 9th and were eliminated.  I was sorry to see them go.  They played hard, they worked well together, but they just had the worst luck with almost everything.

Next week … U-turn!  I’m predicting Cody and Jessica get U-turned but I’m also predicting that it’ll be a non-elimination leg.  Agree?  Disagree? Let me know!

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 30 Episode 3 “It’s Gonna Be A Fragrant Day”

Hi y’all!

Well, that was quite an episode!

For the third leg of the race, the teams went from Antwerp, Belgium to Tangiers, Morocco.  In Tangiers … well, they had to do a little bit of everything.  They had to pile up slimy fish in a basket.  They had to follow a Travelocity gnome as it zip lined across the maze-like city.  At the detour, they could either dance or they could deliver food.  I would have selected the dancing, no doubt about it.

It was a hard and grueling leg of the race, one that demanded a good deal of effort, both mental and physical.  The lead changed many times.  I was never quite sure who was going to come in last.  In the end, though, it didn’t matter who was the last to arrive.  It was non-elimination and I certainly was happy about that!  Cedric and Shawn are such a likable team that I would have hated to have seen them eliminated while carrying a gnome around Tangiers.

Here’s how each team did, in order of finish:

Coming in first, Henry and Evan.  After getting screwed over by the head-to-head race at the end of the 2nd leg, Henry and Evan finally got their first place finish.  I’m still not a huge Henry and Evan fan, though I no longer dislike them as much as I did when the race started.  They’re a strong team and they’re running a good race.  That said, it’s hard not to roll your eyes whenever Evan starts to brag about how “rational” they are.

Coming in second, Alex and Conor!  That’s quite a comeback for Team Comedic Relief.  Time well tell if they merely got lucky or if they’ve finally come together as a team.

Coming in third, Kristi and Jen!  They’re still in it to win it.  They’re still running a strong race.  And they’re both still just a little bit boring.  Still, tonight, they recovered nicely from the type of taxi driver fiasco that has doomed weaker teams in the past.  They definitely seem to have a good chance to make it to the end.

Coming in fourth, Trevor and Chris.  Though they haven’t really made much of an impression, they’ve managed to come in fourth every leg of the race.  They’re good but will they ever finish in the top three?

Coming in fifth, Jessica and Cody!  They started strong and then they struggled during the zip line challenge.  That said, they still managed a respectable finish.  I imagine some people will say that Jessica should have reminded Brittany to grab her gnome but it’s a race.  Only one team can win and, ultimately, the blame is on Brittany for not keeping track of her stuff.

Coming in sixth, Joey and Tim.  Joey and Tim seem to be permanently mired in the back of the pack.  It’s hard to imagine them sticking around for much longer.

Coming in seventh, Eric and Daniel.  What I said for Joey and Tim goes double for Eric and Daniel.

Coming in eighth, Brittany and Lucas.  I don’t care how much Brittany complains about Jessica not telling her about her gnome.  No team is obligated to help any other team and Jessica didn’t order Brittany to run off without her gnome.  That was all due to Brittany being careless.

Finally, coming in ninth, Shawn and Cedric.  They started out strong but, towards the end of the Roadblock, Cedric’s exhaustion caught up with him.  I like both Shawn and Cedric.  Even though they both have struggled at various points during the race, they’ve kept a good attitude.  Hopefully, things will go better for them during the fourth leg of the race.

As always, we’ll see what happens next week!

Lisa Marie

 

The Amazing Race 30 Episode 2 “You’re The Best French Fry Ever!”

My favorite reality show did something different tonight and I’m not totally sure how I feel about it.

Tonight’s episode started out like a typical episode of The Amazing Race.  The racers left Iceland and flew to Amsterdam.  From there, they caught a train to Belgium.  So far, so good.  I spent a day and a very fun night in Belgium during a trip to Europe.  It’s a beautiful country full of nice people.

Once they arrived in Belgium, they dealt with the usual roadblocks and detours.  For the roadblock, they had to climb a ladder and retrieve a clue.  That would have freaked me out because I’m scared to death of heights.  The detour looked like it would have been a little more fun.  You could either use a printing press or appraise a diamond.  With the exception of the Goat Yoga Moms and the Twin Firefighters, no one had much trouble at either of the roadblocks.

(I totally would have done the diamonds.)

But then, when the racers reached the pit stop, the show tried something new.  Up until now, all a team has ever had to do is jump on the mat and then learn, from Phil, whether they’re the first team to arrive or if they’ve been eliminated.  Tonight, though, the teams had to do an obstacle course while wearing a big french fry costume.  So, the first team to arrive (Shawn and Cedric) had to wait until the second team (Cody and Jessica) showed up.  Then Shawn and Cody raced each other through the obstacle course.  The winner was allowed to check in.  The loser would had to go back and race the next team to arrive.

I get that the show was trying to create a little more suspense than usual and they certainly succeeded.  But  it just didn’t feel right to me.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching this show since the first season and I love it that way it is, but I really hope this is not something they plan to do at every pit stop.

For instance, Henry and Evan were the third team to arrive but, because neither one of them is particularly athletic, they had to run the race four times before they were finally allowed to check in.  Henry and Evan may not be the most likable people on the show this season and I imagine that they probably would have started calling themselves Team Yale on their own if Phil hadn’t done it first.  But still, it seemed unfair that, after doing extremely well over the past two legs of the race, they were nearly eliminated because they couldn’t run through an obstacle course in a french fry costume.

Am I making too big a deal about this?  Maybe.  It could just be that I don’t like change.  Or maybe seeing everyone in those stupid costume just triggered Big Brother flashbacks.

Anyway, here’s how everyone did, in order of their finish:

Coming in first, Jessica and Cody.  So far, Jessica and Cody are doing a lot better on The Amazing Race than they ever did on Big Brother.  Cody even came close to smiling a few times.

Coming in second, Cedric and Shawn.  If not for the head-to-head race, they would have been the first team to arrive.  Still, second is quite a comeback for a team that was nearly eliminated at the end of the last leg.  They’re a likable team and I hope they do well.

Coming in third, Kristi and Jen.  The skiers are still coming on strong.  Still, one of them was ill (from the “Black Death” that they had to drink during the previous leg) at the start of tonight’s episode and, by the laws of reality show foreshadowing, that’s not a good sign.

Coming in fourth, Trevor and Chris.  Fourth the first leg.  Fourth this leg.  They seem strong but haven’t really made much of an impression just yet.

Coming in fifth, Alex and Conor.  Fifth the last leg.  Fifth this leg.  Again, they haven’t made much of an impression beyond occasionally providing comedic relief.

Coming in sixth, Lucas and Brittany.  They were seventh last week so the lifeguards managed to move up a ranking.  I still don’t see them lasting more than three more legs, though.

Coming in seventh, Joey and Tim.  The competitive eaters.  Previously, they were sixth.  Now they’re seventh.  I don’t see them lasting much longer, which means that, soon, Phil will no longer be able to make jokes about what they do for a living.

Coming in eighth, Henry and Evan.  I felt bad for them but there was another part of me that did think, “Imagine Team Yale getting eliminated while dressed up like french fries.”

Coming in ninth, Eric and Daniel.  If not for the head-to-head race at the end, they would have been eliminated.  Personally, I still find myself getting them mixed up with Joey and Tim.

And getting eliminated — the Goat Yoga Moms, April and Sarah.  I actually predicted that they would get eliminated at the end of the second leg but I figured it would be because they had an emotional meltdown, not because they couldn’t make it through an obstacle course.

What does everyone else think about tonight’s twist?  Did it feel wrong to you or am I just overreacting?

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 30 Episode 1 “You’re A Champion! Prove it!”

The Amazing Race is back!

Though it never quite gets as much attention as either Survivor or Big Brother, The Amazing Race has long been my favorite reality show.  What can I say?  I like watching all of the teams trip over themselves as they attempt to adjust to different cultures and different languages.  I enjoy those rare moments when a racer will pause and look at where they are and have an epiphany.  It’s also always fun to try to predict which team will so alienate their taxi driver that they end up coming in last.

The best seasons of The Amazing Race have always been simple and straight-forward.  The only gimmick that the Amazing Race needs is the fact that it’s a race across the world.  Whenever the show has tried to change things up — the infamous all-family edition, the recent season where they tried to turn it into a dating show — the results have been disappointing.  Fortunately, it appears that the show’s producers may have finally learned that lesson because this first episode was pretty much classic Amazing Race.  The racers gathered in New York, they flew to Iceland, some struggled with directions, some struggled with spelling, and the last team to arrive was eliminated.

It’s still very early in the race but here are my initial impressions of the teams, in order of their finish tonight:

Coming in first, Team Extreme!  Kristi and Jen are professional skiers and they do seem to be a pretty strong team.  They ran a good first leg and I have yet to really see any weaknesses that could derail them.

Coming in second, Team Big Brother!  That’s right — Cody and Jessica are back!  Personally, I think that The Amazing Race might be a better fit for them than Big Brother.  Neither one of them is really a good social player but you don’t have to be social in The Amazing Race.  They would have won tonight’s leg except they got lost at the last minute.  Otherwise, Cody and Jessica seem to be a strong team, even if neither one appears to have much of a personality.

Coming in third, Team Yale!  Henry and Evan are champion debaters.  They’re also dating debaters.  They seem to be one of those teams that will start strong and then end up falling apart.  They’re both so uptight that I really can’t imagine them getting through the race without having one major fight.

Coming in fourth, Trevor and Chris!  They’re Team Well Strung, which … yeah, okay.  Anyway, they’re dating violinists and they didn’t make much of an impression.

Coming in fifth, Team Indycar!  Alex and Conor!  Alex is a champion race car driver.  Conor lives on his couch.  So far, they appear to mostly be on the show to provide goofy comedic relief.

Coming in sixth, Team Chomp!  Joey and Tim are competitive eaters.  Phil seemed to find that fact a lot more interesting than I did.  Joey and Tim seem to be another team that was selected for their potential to be goofy but I think that role has already been taken over by Alex and Conor.  How many goofy teams can run the race in one season?

Coming in seventh, Lucas and Brittany!  They’re lifeguards and … well, that’s about as much of an impression as they made tonight.

Coming in eighth, Eric and Daniel!  Eric and Daniel are twins and they’re both firefighters.  They both look a lot like a Scottish actor named Ewen Bremner.

Ewen Bremner as Spud in T2: Trainspotting

Coming in ninth, Cedric and Shawn!  Cedric and Shawn had a really difficult leg.  Not only did they struggle with the spelling comp but they also incurred a 30 minute penalty, as the result of Cedric “providing illegal assistance at the roadblock.”  Cedric wasn’t trying to cheat.  He was just watching Shawn try to spell an Icelandic word and he said, aloud, that Shawn needed to move around the O’s.  He was mostly talking to himself and he certainly didn’t yell it out.  But the rule is that you can’t say anything that could potentially help your teammate during a roadblock.  As Phil explained it, it didn’t matter that Shawn didn’t hear what Cedric said.  If not for the penalty, they would have been team number 8.  I like Cedric and Shawn so hopefully, their luck will improve.

Coming in tenth, April and Sarah!  April and Sarah teach yoga and raise goats.  Judging by what we saw of them tonight, April and Sarah might as well be called Team Doomed.  They don’t work well together.  They didn’t really seem to be paying much attention to what they were doing.  They nearly got eliminated tonight, managing to beat the last team to the mat by a split second.

And finally, eliminated — this year’s models, Dessie and Kayla.  To be honest, from the minute they introduced themselves, I had a feeling that Dessie and Kayla would be eliminated at the end of the first leg so I’m always glad to be proven right.  Dessie and Kalya didn’t really get much of a chance to make any sort of impression.  In fact, I had kinda forgotten about them up until they got eliminated.

And those are my thoughts so far.  Right now, I’d probably have to say that I consider Kristi and Jen to be the front runners.  And if I had to guess who will be eliminated next, I’d have to go with April and Sarah.

For now, I’m just happy The Amazing Race is back!

We’ll see what happens!

Lisa Marie