Monthly Archives: November 2022

The Amazing Race 34.10 “Don’t Look Down”


On Wednesday night, the second megaleg came to a close as the teams finally reached the pit stop.  To be honest, it wasn’t a huge surprise that Marcus and Michael were the last team to arrive.  They struggled during this entire megaleg and, once they fell behind, they were never able to catch up.  Marcus and Michael were a strong team and they finished in first place on quite a few of the legs.  But, in Spain, their luck just ran out.  That said, I have a feeling that they’ll probably return for a future season.

So, we are now down to four teams and we’ve got two episodes left.  The end is approaching.  Who will make it to the finale?

Luis and Michelle, who finished the megaleg in first, seem to be guaranteed a spot in the final three.  They have run a strong race.  They work well together as a team.  They’re determined to win but they don’t allow mistakes to distract them.  It would shock me if they somehow didn’t make it to the finale.

Derek and Claire also seem like a good bet to make it to the finale.  They finished the megaleg in third place.  Claire conquered her crippling fear of heights at the roadblock.  My heart went out to her because I’m not a fan of heights myself.  But the important thing is that she did it and she and Derek never gave up.  Derek and Claire have made their mistakes but they’ve always recovered.  They work well together.  They support each other.  I’m sure they’ll make it to the finale.

But who will be joining them?

Aubrey and David finished the megaleg in 2nd place but they haven’t been a consistently strong team and David still seems to be so intense that it’s easy to imagine one small mistake causing the team to meltdown.

Meanwhile, Molly and Emily finished the megaleg in fourth.  They’ve been a strong team but Emily’s knee slowed them down this leg and it’s hard to imagine that it will be any better during the next leg.  Molly and Emily may be more likable and emotionally stable than Aubrey and David but they’re having to deal with a serious injury.

So, if I had to guess, I think our top three will be Luis and Michelle, Aubrey and David, and Derek and Claire.  And I will be rooting for Derek and Claire until the end!

We’ll see what happens next week as the Race travels from Spain to Iceland!

Survivor 43.10 “Get That Money, Baby”


Hi, everyone!

I apologize for being late in posting this week’s recap.  Thursday was not only Thanksgiving but it was also my sister’s birthday!  I’m only now getting a chance to sit down and write out a few words about this week’s episode of Survivor.

I’m not really surprised that Noelle ended up getting blindsided.  I am a little bit surprised that it took as long as it did.  Noelle is not only a Paralympian and a challenge threat but she also has an inspiring backstory so, to me, she would definitely not be someone who I would want to be sitting next to in a final three situation.  I figured that Noelle would automatically become a target post-merge but, instead, Gabler had to get his revenge on the girls who searched his bag and James was so obnoxious that Noelle was able to fly under the radar until last night.

Noelle won the reward challenge last night, which was both good and bad.  On the one hand, winning the reward challenge meant that she got to read letters from her family.  On the other hand, it also meant that she had to decide who else would get to read letters and who would go back to camp empty-handed.  While Noelle, Sami, Jesse, and Owen were reading their letters, Cassidy was back at camp and trying to convince Gabler and Cody to vote out Noelle.

Noelle’s fate was pretty much sealed as soon as she didn’t win immunity.  The show didn’t even pretend that there was a possibility that Noelle wouldn’t be blindsided.  Instead, most of the second half of the episode was taken up with scenes of Jesse orchestrating Noelle’s blindside.  Jesse convinced Noelle and her strongest allies (Owen, Sami, and Karla) to split their votes while he got the rest of the tribe on board with all voting for Noelle.  Even Jesse was shocked at both how easy it was and also at how no one appeared to be targeting him and Cody.

Of course, Jesse may be getting too cocky.  Before tribal council, Gabler approached Karla and told her about the upcoming blindside, and he also told her that Cody and Jesse were becoming a dangerous duo.  So, Jesse and Cody might not be as safe as they think they are.  We’ll find out next week!

For now, Noelle is the newest member of the jury.  The final vote was 5-2-1.  Sami received one vote (for Noelle) and Karla received two (from Owen and Sami).

I hope everyone’s had a good Thanksgiving!  Again, sorry for the late post!


Noelle, the fourth member of the jury

The Amazing Race 34.9 “Vamos a la Playa”


Last night saw the beginning of the second megaleg of the season!  That means that, once the teams landed in Spain, they had to do two roadblocks and two detours on their way to the next pit stop.  That also means that we only got to see the first half of the megaleg last night and, as a result, no one was eliminated.

I enjoyed the first half of the megaleg, mostly because I liked the roadblock where they had to arrange six glass panels in order to recreate Pablo Picasso’s Three Musicians.  Watching that roadblock, I realized that my art history degree would make me invincible in The Amazing Race!  But, at the same time, I have to admit to being disappointed that this episode ended with the teams still racing and no one being eliminated.  I would actually prefer that they brought back the non-elimination leg than continue to split the megalegs into two separate episodes.

Here’s where everyone was when last night’s episode ended:

In 1st place, Derek and Claire were running a strong race and they definitely seemed like the team to beat.  They’re a cute couple, too.  At first, I thought it was foolish of Derek to help out Aubrey and David but, in retrospect, it could be that he wants them to stick around because he knows they’ll be easy to beat.

In 2nd place, we have got Aubrey and David.  After struggling over the past two legs, Aubrey and David are once again running strong.  That said, David tends to get so worked up over things that I still think they’re one meltdown away from getting eliminated.

In third place, Luis and Michelle.  They’re still strong and they’re still consistent.  There’s no way they don’t make it to the finale.

In 4th place, Emily and Molly.  Emily’s knee is slowing them down, at the worst possible moment.

In 5th place, Marcus and Michael.  They’re struggling in Spain and I have a feeling this leg might be their last one.  Usually, when Marcus and Michael win, it’s because they got through the leg without making any mistakes.  When they do make a mistake or have problems with a roadblock or detour, they always struggle to recover and make up the time.  They have the potential to be the strongest team in the race but they were definitely struggling last night.

Next week, the megaleg ends and, as Phil would say, the last time to arrive will be eliminated.

Survivor 43.9 — Two Tribal Councils For The Price Of One


Last night’s episode of Survivor gave us two tribal councils for the price of one.  

At the immunity challenge, Jeff announced that the tribe was going to be split into two groups, determined by random draw.  The castaways would then compete in an endurance comp, seeing who could keep a ball in place for the longest amount of time.  The longest-lasting castaway from each group would win immunity.  Since both groups would be going to tribal council, that meant that, along with two people having immunity, two people would also be sent to the jury.  Also, whichever castaway held out for the longest would not only win immunity but they would also win their group a reward of peanut butter sandwiches.  The sandwiches looked fairly nasty to me but whatever.  I guess you’ll eat anything after you’ve been stuck on a beach for several days.

Immunity was won by Karla and Cody.  Cody lasted the longest so his group won the rather boring reward.  They also won the right to be the second group to go to tribal so they would be able to see who the first group had voted out.  Jeff made this sound like a great advantage but I’ve noticed that Jeff tends to get excited easily nowadays.

Anyway, the first tribe to attend tribal consisted of Karla, James, Sami, Owen, and Noelle.  James and Owen had an argument after the immunity challenge, due to Owen being upset that James didn’t tell him that the tribe was targeting Jeanine and James just being a jerk in general.

James went into tribal confident that he had masterminded Owen’s downfall.  What James didn’t know was that Noelle and Sami had decided to blindside James.  Noelle used her steal-the-vote advantage to steal Owen’s vote.  James smirked when this happened.  However, when it came to vote, Noelle cast her two votes for James.  Even more surprisingly, so did Karla.  Karla was James’s biggest ally in the game but somehow, Sami convinced Karla to turn on him.  I’m not sure what Sami promised Karla or how he convinced her but Sami pulled it off.  Sami might be the most dangerous player in this game.

Anyway, the final vote was 4 votes for James and one vote for Owen.  (That vote came from James.)  James was stunned by the vote and loudly complained as Jeff snuffed his torch.  James added that everyone voted for him as a sign of how much they feared and respected him.  Noelle stifled a laugh.

As for the second tribal council, the group was made up of Cassidy, Ryan, Gabler, Jesse, and Cody.  Cassidy wanted to vote out Ryan.  Ryan wanted to vote out Cassidy.  In the end, the tribe decided to go with Cassidy and Ryan was voted out by a 4-1 margin.  Compared to the previous tribal council, it was a bit boring.  I guess Gabler has fallen off of everyone’s radar, especially now that Jeanine and Elie are no longer in the game.  And I also guess no one has noticed that Cody and Jesse have got the strongest bond of any of the players in the game.  There were definitely bigger targets in the group.

At this point, I’m going to predict that we’re going to get a final three of Sami, Cody, and Gabler and that Sami will win fairly easily.  We’ll see what happens!

The Amazing Race 34.8 “La Ville Rose”


Alas, poor Quinton and Mattie.

Last night, Quinton and Mattie were the last to arrive at the Pit Stop in Toulouse and they were eliminated from the race.  They finished in 6th place, which is really not a bad finish for a team that never really had a strong leg over the course of the race.  They were the ultimate middle-of-the-road team.  They managed to finish 3rd twice and that was as good as it got for them.  They seem like nice people but they were also the team that I always had to remind myself about whenever I was trying to write up one of these recaps.

We have five teams left.  Derek and Claire and Luis and Michelle are consistently strong and, at this point, I would be shocked if they didn’t make it to the final leg.  Emily and Molly are a strong team but Emily’s knee injury could slow them down.  Marcus and Michael are strong, except for when they’re having to drive.  There’s always a team that struggles with finding the next roadblock or detour and this season, it’s Marcus and Michael.  Aubrey and David have struggled a lot over the past two episodes but they could potentially sneak into the top three.

As for how everyone finished last night, it was:

  1. Derek and Claire, claiming their second first place finish of the season.  When this season began, Claire seemed like she would be the weak link for this team but, last night, she easily handled the roadblock.  These two are in a good position.
  2. Louis and Michelle, who are both coming on strong.  Luis’s “bromance” with Derek was cute.
  3. Emily and Molly, who are a strong team but I cringe every time I see Emily starting to limp.  I’ve dealt with knee injuries.  They are the worst and they always flare up at the worst possible time.
  4. Marcus and Michael, who have 3 first place finishes this season.  They’re strong but, last night, they wasted a lot of time driving.
  5. Aubrey and David, who are holding on.  At this point, whether they make it to the end seems to depend more on whether or not the other teams screw up than on anything else.
  6. Quinton and Mattie, who were eliminated.

Next week, the Race goes to Spain!

Survivor 43.8 “Proposterous”


For all the talk of potential drama last night, I can’t say that I was surprised with what happened at tribal council.  Jeanine was the obvious target, especially with the previous two tribal councils taking out two of her allies.  Everyone knew that Jeanine no longer had her immunity idol.  As soon as Jeanine dropped out of the immunity challenge, I knew that Jeanine would be going home.

Of course, it didn’t help Jeanine that immunity was won by Owen.  James was considering going after Owen if he hadn’t won immunity, due to him being seen as being both personable and a challenge threat.  But that plan was abandoned after Owen proved to the last castaway standing at the immunity challenge.  (The challenge was a Survivor favorite, the one where the castaways had to balance a ball on top of a pole.)  Owen won and despite Sami and Cassidy suggesting that Ryan might be a bigger threat, the majority tribe ultimately made the easy decision of voting out Jeanine.  Cassidy and Jeanine voted for Ryan but the other 9 votes were all cast for Jeanine.

The most interesting development last night was that, though Jeanine thought that Dwight had left the game with her idol, it turns out that Jeanine was wrong.  Before going to tribal, Dwight actually gave the idol to Jesse.  So, Jeanine’s idol is still in the game but it’s now Jesse’s idol.  And Jesse is keeping that a secret from the rest of the tribe.  Good for Jesse!  I’m not sure why this season’s castaways have such a hard time keeping things a secret but it’s good to see that Jesse has figured out that you don’t have to blab about every advantage to the rest of the tribe.

Next week: two people will be joining Jeanine on the jury!

Til then….


Jeanine, the first member of the jury

The Amazing Race 34.7 “It’s Simply Medieval”


After being saved, last week, by Abby and Will’s positive COVID test, Lumumba and Glenda finally ran out luck as the race moved into France. 

Glenda and Lumumba were the last team to depart Jordan and they were also the last team to check into the pit stop at France and they were eliminated from the race.  It’s a bit of a shame as Glenda and Lumumba were definitely one of the stronger teams out there during the first two legs of the race.  They finished 2nd twice, before struggling  during the “mega leg.”  They finished that leg of the race in 8th place and they basically never managed to work their way back up.  Sometimes, a strong team just had bad luck and that’s what happened here.  That said, they both handled being eliminated well.  I liked their attitude and the fact that, even if they didn’t win, they still seemed to enjoy their time on the race.

As for the remaining teams …. well, it really is anyone’s race.  This leg was interesting because not only did we nearly have a four-way tie at the Pit Stop but first and second place were taken by two teams that had struggled during the previous few legs of the race.  I would say that every team left in the Race is strong enough to be a contender.  I would even say that about David and Aubrey, assuming that they don’t have another melt down over driving like they did last night.

Here’s how everyone finished:

Coming in first, Marcus and Michael.  After falling to fifth place in Jordan, Marcus and Michael came back to win this leg of the race and reclaim the number one spot.  They’re not the most charismatic team in Amazing Race history but they work well together, they don’t get upset, and they approach each roadblock and detour with intelligence. 

Coming in second, Emily and Molly!  Emily and Molly went from sixth to second.  Like Marcus and Michael, they work well together and they don’t give up.

Coming in third, Derek and Claire!  Team Big Brother is running a consistently strong race.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they followed in the footsteps of Cody and Jessica and Rachel and Brendon and made it to the final leg of the race.

Coming in fourth, Luis and Michelle!  Again, this is another strong team.  They have a lot of competitive fire to them.  The only thing I worry about with them is that Luis is so intense that it just seems like he’s destined to have a fight with a cab driver or make some sort of similar mistake that would cause them to miss making the top three by just a few minutes.

Coming in fifth, Quinton and Mattie.  Even this late in the race, the cheerleaders have not made a huge impression but the fact that they’ve lasted this long is impressive.  I don’t expect them to be among the final teams racing but you never know.  They’ve been strong enough to last this long.

Coming in sixth, David and Aubrey.  David and Aubrey had a bit of a meltdown last night and, as a result, they went from 2nd to 6th.  They’ve proven themselves to be a strong team but their future in the race depends on whether or not they could put this leg behind them and now allow it to mess with their confidence.

And finally, coming in seventh and eliminated, Glenda and Lumumba.

If I had to guess right now, I’d say our final three teams will be Marcus & Michael, Luis & Michelle, and Derek & Claire.  We’ll find out how right (or wrong) I am in a few more weeks!

Survivor 43.7 “Bull In A China Shop”


For all the drama over who would be voted out, last night’s episode of Survivor really was the story of two players.  One of the players is currently on a hot streak.  Everything that they need to happen is happening.  As for the other player, nothing is going right for her.

As of right now, Gabler has every reason to feel confident about things.  Not only was he able to get Elie out at the last tribal council but, in a truly epic Survivor immunity challenge, he became the first of the castaways to win individual immunity.  That couldn’t have come at a better time for Gabler because, before the challenge, a lot of people were viewing him as being a potential target.  Owen was plotting to stab him in the back at tribal.  When Gabler won immunity, it not only took the target off his back but it gave him some breathing room.  Hopefully, he can build (or repair) some alliances between now and the next tribal.  Personally, I think he would be unstoppable if he teamed up with Cody but I think both men have too big of an ego to work together.

Meanwhile, Jeanine is struggling.  The episode started with her discovering that Elie had been voted out of the game.  Jeanine was smart enough to pretend as if she wasn’t as close to Elie as it may have appeared but she’s still struggling to find a good alliance.  While Jeanine was not targeted at tribal, she still lost her immunity idol when she foolishly gave it to Dwight before tribal council.  (Because James had the Knowledge is Power advantage, which allows him to ask someone if they have an advantage, Jeanine gave her idol to Dwight and Noelle gave her steal-a-vote to Owen.)  When Dwight was blind-sided at Tribal, he left with Jeanine’s immunity idol in his pocket!  So now, Jeanine has not only lost two allies but she’s also lost her immunity idol.

As for tribal, it was a bit confusing.  It’s still hard to figure out who is working with who and it seems like the biggest mistake that you can make is coming across like you’re trying too hard to win.  The minute it becomes apparent that anyone is strategizing, they and the people close to them automatically become targets.  Dwight was voted out not because he viewed as a huge threat but because he was viewed as being an ally of Noelle, who is viewed as being a threat.  Cody was the one who got the majority on board with voting out Dwight, though random votes were cast for Ryan (targeted because he was a physical threat) and James (targeted because of his social game).  In the end, it broke down like this:

Gabler, Jeanine, and Owen voted for Ryan.

Noelle and Dwight voted for James.

Everyone else (Cassidy, Cody, James, Jesse, Karla, Ryan, and Sami) voted for Dwight.  

Despite the fact that the teams are merged, jury selection has not selected yet so Dwight is going home.  Hopefully, next week, castaways will start heading for jury and we’ll get some clarity as to who is working with who.

Til then….