Monthly Archives: January 2022

The Amazing Race 33.5 “Stairway to Heaven”

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Last night’s episode of The Amazing Race had some good things going for it.  As I said last week, Switzerland is a beautiful country and I really enjoyed looking at the scenery.  And I was so happy for Sherri when she managed to do the bungee jumping roadblock despite her crippling fear of heigths!

Plus, the roaming gnome returned!  The roaming gnome has been an Amazing Race mainstay for quite some time and I’m always happy to see him.  Remember how, in the past, teams would sometimes forget their gnome and they’d have to go back to get him?  That was always fun.  Of course, it hasn’t happened in a while.  People now know better than to lose that gnome.

With all that in mind, this was still a pretty anti-climatic episode.  On a personal level, I do like Arum and Natalia.  I felt bad for them the first time they got eliminated.  When they were allowed to return to the race, I sincerely hoped they would make the most the second chance.  But, unfortunately, they’re just not very good at this.  Every leg of the race, so far, they’ve ended up getting lost and lagging behind the other teams.  Last night, they got so lost that the other teams had already checked into the pit stop by the time that Arum and Natalia reached the detour.  As such, there was no suspense about who would come in last and, because of unique circumstances of this year’s Race, there was also no suspense that tonight would be a non-elimination leg.  We knew they would be last and we knew it wouldn’t matter.

In other words, Natalia and Arum will get another chance.  They’ll also be the last team to leave Switzerland at the start of the next leg.  Apparently, the teams will be heading to France.  If driving in Switzerland was difficult for Arum and Natalia, I can only imagine the trouble they’re going to have in France.

Here’s how everyone finished last night:

Coming in first, Ryan and Dusty.  Again.  These two have yet to finish anywhere lower than 2nd during the entire race.  The only thing that could stop them is a physical injury, which — to judge from the previews — might very well happen during the next leg of the race.

Coming in second, Lulu and Lala.  i was surprised. I haven’t been impressed by them in the past but they came on strong last night so maybe Lulu and Lala used that year-long downtime to reflect on why they struggled during the first three legs of the race.  Good for them.

Coming in third, Kim and Penn.  They’re still looking strong.

Coming in fourth, Raquel and Cayla.  The flight attendants struggled a little with directions during this leg, though not to the extent that Arum and Natalia did.

Coming in fifth, Sheri and Akbar.  Try as they might, Sheri and Akbar simply cannot escape from the back of the pack.

Coming in sixth, Arum an Natalia.  Luckily for them, it was a non-elimination leg but I just don’t see things ever getting better for this team.

Next week, the teams go to France!

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 33.4 “Ready to Restart the Race”

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“After the longest pit stop in Amazing Race history….”

Okay, we all know what led us up to this point so I won’t waste too much time recapping it.  At the end of the 2nd leg of the race, Phil gathered the teams and announced that, due to the Coronavirus lockdowns, the race was being suspended.  It was disappointing but, considering that a lot of countries weren’t even allowing people to enter, the production didn’t have much choice.

Over a year later, the race resumed.  The teams were flown to Switzerland to restart the race.  Unfortunately four teams could not return.  Anthony & Spencer, Connie & Sam, Caro & Ray, and Taylor & Isaiah all had to drop out.  Caro & Ray dropped out because they broke up after the race was suspended.  I’m not sue what happened to the rest.  Two of the open spots were filled by Moe & Michael and Arun & Natalia, who got a second chance after being eliminated during the previous legs of the race.

I’m sure Caro & Ray and Taylor & Isaiah were nice people and I do hope they’re all doing okay but losing them is no great loss to the race because neither was a strong team.  Neither was going to end up winning,  Anthony & Spencer and Connie & Sam, however, were strong teams and I’m worried that, without them, the race is going to be a bit lopsided.  Kim & Pen and Ryan & Dusty are the only two consistently strong teams left and I have a feeling they’re going to dominate the rest of this season while the other teams essentially compete for third place.  I hope I’m proven wrong because the Race is always more fun to watch when there are several strong teams instead of just two.

As for tonight’s leg of the race, Switzerland is a beautiful country and I enjoyed the scenery.  At one point, it looked like Michael & Moe were going to make up for their previously elimination by finishing strong but they soon fell behind.  For that matter, so did Arun and Natalia.  Neither made the best use of their second chance.

Here’s how our teams finished:

In first place, Ryan and Dusty!  They’re the strongest team right now.  Some have complain that Ryan and Dusty are cocky but when you’re winning as easily as they are, it’s understandable.

In second place, Kim and Penn.  They’re a strong team, even if they’re not exactly likable, and I expect they’ll make it to the finale.

In third place, Raquel and Cayla.  I like the flight attendants because they remind me of my sisters.  They’ve actually been doing pretty well in the race so it wouldn’t surprise me if tonight’s finish was a preview of what we’re going to see on finale night.

In fourth place, Lulu & Lala.  Usually, finishing in fourth place would be a good finish but, again, I think last night’s finish was more due to the weakness of the competition than anything else.  Lula & Lala struggled during the previous few legs of the race and I have a feeling that’s going to be the case over the next few legs as well.

In fifth place, Sheri and Akbar.  Honestly, these two are pretty much doomed.  They haven’t had a good leg yet.

In sixth place, Arun and Natalia.  Arun needs to stop getting so frustrated all the time.

In last place and eliminated from the race (again), Moe and Michael.  They seem like nice guys but the race isn’t for everyone.  They were the first to eliminated before the restart and they’re the first to be eliminated after the restart.

With Moe and Michael out of the race, they leaves us with only 6 teams and also a lot of legs left to go in the race.  I assume we’re going to get a few extra non-elimination legs this season.  Otherwise, this is going to be a short season.

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 33.3 “Who Has This One In The Bag?”

I’ve been to Scotland, so I enjoyed last night’s episode of The Amazing Race.  It was a chance to see some familiar locations.  And I felt bad when Arum and Natalie were the last to arrive at the pit stop and were eliminated from the race.  Arum obviously blamed himself and it was hard to watch his obvious distress as he and his daughter showed up late and last.

That said, last night’s episode really didn’t matter because it ended with Phil announcing that the season had been suspended due to the Coronavirus.  The show then jumped forward 18 months, with Phil welcoming the returning teams to Switzerland, where the race will start once again.

One thing that I quickly noticed is that, out of 9 teams that were still in the race at the Scotland pit stop, only five of them were in Switzerland.  Not present were Anthony & Spencer, Connie & Sam, Caro & Ray, and Taylor & Isiah.  I assume that the four teams were not able to return for various reasons.  (Caro and Ray, I know, broke up between the suspension and the restart.)  If those four teams are out, that leaves the following teams in the race:

Kim & Penn (1st place in Scotland)

Ryan & Dusty (2nd place in Scotland)

Raquel & Cayla (6th place in Scotland)

Lulu & Layla (7th place in Scotland)

Akbar & Sheri (9th place in Scotland)

The problem is obvious.  Some of the strongest teams — Anthony & Spencer, in particular — have not returned, leaving Ryan & Dusty and Kim & Penn as such obvious favorites to win that there’s almost no suspense left.

However, according to the preview for next week’s episode, there will be replacement teams for the ones that couldn’t return.  Phil said that the teams would be familiar faces.  Does that mean that Moe & Michael and Arum & Natalia are getting another chance or does that mean we’re gong to have some teams from the previous races joining the competition?

We’ll find out next week, when an entirely new race will begin in Switzerland!

Til then,

Lisa Marie

The Amazing Race 33.1 & 2 “We’re Back” and “It Can’t Be That Easy”

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The Amazing Race is back!

I’m happy about that.  To be honest, it originally seemed like we might never see the 33rd installment of The Amazing Race.  Filming on the 33rd season started in 2020, before the COVID lockdowns.  Once the lockdowns went into effect, filming was suspended.  (According to Phil, this happened right after the completion of the third leg of the race.)  The racers were sent home.  It wasn’t until September of 2021 that the teams returned and completed the race, albeit with a modified route and chartered flights.  In other words, after the third leg, I presume we won’t see any more desperate races to the airport.

So, the 33rd season has finally been completed.  Last night, CBS premiered the first two episodes and we followed 11 teams of two as the flew from the U.S.A. to London.  At the end of the first hour, one team was eliminated.  At the end of the second hour, Phil announced that the second leg of the race was a “continue racing” leg (which I guess has replaced the “non-elimination” leg)  and that the last team to arrive at the pit stop had not been eliminated.  Yay!

Now, with The Amazing Race, it takes about half-a-season to really get to know the teams.  The first few episodes are always a bit hectic and it can be difficult to keep track of everyone.  With that in mind, here are my first impressions of the teams, in order of what place they were in at the end of the last night’s premiere:

Ryan and Dusty: Ryan and Dusty are this season’s best friends.  Ryan spent decades in prison for a murder he didn’t commit but he still seems to be surprisingly cheerful and optimistic.   They ended the first leg of the race in 2nd place.  At the end of the 2nd leg, they’re in first place.  They’re a strong team.

Connie and Sam: Connie and Sam are a married couple.  They seem likable enough.  They ended the first leg in 7th place but are currently in 2nd.  I think they’re going to be around for a while because they know how to work together and they seem to have a pretty good attitude, even when things get tough.  We’ll see.

Arun and Natalia: This father-and-daughter team is from Detroit and they definitely want you to know it.  I’m not sure how they’re “Detroit vs Everybody” shirts will play in certain countries.  They struggled during the 1st leg, coming in 9th.  However, they rallied during the 2nd episode an are currently in 3rd place.

Raquel and Cayla: The flight attendants!  They finished the first leg in third and are currently in fourth.  They seem like a typical middle-of-the-road team, the type who is destined to come in 5th or 4th.

Kim and Penn: Kim and Penn are a married couple of have a YouTube channel.  They’re kind of annoying.  They seem to be another typical middle-of-the-road team but Penn has a tendency to overthink things and I think that will be their downfall.  After coming in 4th during the first leg, they’re currently in 5th place.

Caro and Ray: Call them Team Doomed.  This dating couple met on Love Island.  They finished in 5th place during the first leg of the race and they’re currently in 6th.  Last night, they spent too much time fighting.  I think they’re the team most likely to have a massive meltdown.

Anthony and Spencer: Anthony and Spencer are childhood friends.  They’re also famous for preventing a terrorist attack on a train in France in 2015.  They even starred in the film that Clint Eastwood made about the incident, The 15:17 to Paris.  Anthony and Spencer finished the 1st leg in first and but they struggled during the second leg and are currently in 7th.  That said, I think they’re a strong team and I think they’ll be around for a while.

Akbar and Sheri: The married teachers, they struggled during both legs of the race.  They ended the first leg in 6th and are currently in 8th.  they seem like nice people but I don’t expect them to make it far in the race.

Taylor and Isiah: This married couple has their own YouTube Channel.  They struggled during both legs.  They finished the first leg in 8th place.  They’re currently in 9th.

Lula and Lala: The twins are not doing well at all.  They narrowly avoided elimination by coming in 10th at the end of the first leg.  At the end of the second leg, they’re still in last place and would have been eliminated if not for the 2nd leg being a “continue racing” leg.  They need to start paying more attention to detail if they’re going to make it to the end.

Mike and Moe: The singing cops seemed nice enough but they were eliminated at the end of the first leg.

And that’s it for now.  To be honest, it might be a mistake to read too much into the early legs.  We know that the race is going to be suspended after the third leg and that the racers will end up waiting over a year to return to the race.  So, the fourth leg of the race will essentially be the start of a totally new race.

We’ll see what happens.  For now, I’m just happy to have my favorite reality show back!

Lisa Marie