October 29, 2005

I love crazies!

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On TV, I mean. Real life is another story. Once I visited Washington DC and a very crazy lady ran up to my mom and pointed at her and screamed “YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE!!!” She stared at us for a few seconds, then sat down on the bench next to me and started playing the guitar, while simultaneously peeing in her pants. I certainly could have lived without that experience. But on television, crazies are so much fun, and The Apprentice always delivers in that respect.

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Remember these gals?

This year, The Donald’s show doesn’t really have a certifiable loony. Toral was kind of nuts, but in a psycho-self-important-corporate way, not in a psycho-fun way. Thankfully, Martha’s edition does…

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No, not her! She's just like you and me. I always wear gold clogs when I walk my dogs.

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Yes, Jim! He’s totally crazy. Seriously, I think he’s manic or something. But he’s fun to watch.

Jim thinks he’s all-powerful. And things that he wants to happen actually do, which only reinforces it. He wanted Dawn out, and Martha fired her. He “warned” Jennifer not to take him into the boardroom, and now she’s gone! Then he said if Martha made him project manager, victory was guaranteed. No problem. He’ll be like Babe Ruth and hit one out of the park! And he was right, again!

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Whoa! Don’t screw with me, little pinky finger! I will cut you down, GUARANTEED!

All of this seems to be feeding his crazy delusion that he can do anything, beat anyone. And I must admit, I think I’m getting sucked into his little Jim-world, because I’m really starting to like him.

Or maybe I’m just liking the fact that I know that he’ll eventually self-destruct, and it will be totally fun to watch the truly all-powerful being (Martha, of course) spank him back to reality.

Hmm, it’s probably the latter.

Posted by Linda Ruiz at 8:23 PM | Category: - Martha - | Comments (1)

October 28, 2005

Awww!

Cute...
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Cuter...
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Cutest!!
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Posted by Linda Ruiz at 9:33 AM | Category: Gosh! | Comments (1)

October 26, 2005

Finally!

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The episode we’ve been waiting for… they’re leaving the frickin’ country!! I was glad to see that the teams seem to be as excited as we are about finally boarding an aeroplano and heading outside the U.S.!

Part of what makes The Amazing Race so fun is watching clueless Americans travel to foreign countries and make stupid cultural gaffes and butcher foreign languages. And this episode did not disappoint in that respect -- next stop-o, Panama City, Panama! Muy excellente!

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Oh my gaaaad. We’re going to Peaaaanamaaa!

Tommy Linz appeared to be the most excited, saying, “I love Panama! I hope we can check out 16 year old girls!” Megan reminded him that they were going to Panama City, Panama, and not Panama City, Florida, home of spring break and bikini-salsa wrestling.

The teams made their way to the airport, where they got in line at the Continental Airlines desk for a flight that would land at 6:39. The Linz, Bransen, and Paolo families bought tickets for this flight, but when the Godlewskis reached the desk, they were told that the flight was full.

Now I hate spreading conspiracy theories, but did anyone else notice all those empty seats on that plane? Unless half the passengers were in the bathroom, that flight was not full!

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BUSTED!! Ha! Though, I don’t really understand why they would force the teams to take two flights, other than to create a pointless little footrace through the airport, since upon reaching the Instituto, the playing field leveled again with an overnight bunching point. Maybe the people in those empty seats really did just all have to pee.

Anywho, the remaining three teams got tickets for an American Airlines flight that would land at 9:10 – a meaningless difference due to the aforementioned bunching point-o. Despite having to cross a scary bridge over la agua infested with los aligatoros, the teams all made it safely to Panama and spent the night at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, or as Bransen girl simplified it, “Instituto del Something.”

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Panama: The sky is blue… the sea is BROWN! Eww!

First task in Panama – take a boat across the Panama Canal to find Ricardo Diaz, a rather pointless exercise which required the teams to find the correct guy in a hammock. Oh Bertram van Munster, you sneaky snake! Putting a decoy hammock-man at the beginning of the path!! Very clever, but you’ll have to do better than that to outwit these teams.

Burrito! Conquistador! Arriba Arriba, Andale Andale! El Speedo!! It was back to the boats, and the Weaver-bashing had resumed again in full force. Mrs. Weaver told the Linz’s driver to “go slow,” (a brilliant move, by the way – I can’t believe it didn’t work) infuriating the Linz boys, who called her a “bitch,” and said she needed to take her crazy pills! Yowza!

Carissa Gaghan took the bashing even further, siphoning the gasoline out of the Weavers boat and stranding Team Fruit Loop in the middle of the Panama Canal! “Where’s your precious Jesus now, LOSERS” yelled Carissa as she commandeered her family’s boat and drove back to shore! Oh no she didn’t! OH SNIZZAP!!! (She really didn’t. I have to stop living in TAR: Fantasyland.)

Back on dry land, it was time for this week’s detour: Rhythm or Coos. Rhythm involved a trip to Ceaaaasko Veaaaayho on a funny red bus, where the teams had to do something unmemorable involving musical instruments and dancing ladies who shook their boobs like they were having epileptic fits.

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Help me! I am having a crrrrrrazy seizure! Seriously, I need an injection of Trrrrrileptal prrrronto!! Ayeeee!!!

The other option was Coos, which also involved riding in a funny red bus, but to el Parko Metropolano instead. I guess Coos is some sort of bird, because the teams had to spot bird decoys using binoculars and circle them on a big card. Unfortunately, Christine Godlewski confused bird watching for beekeeping.

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Gaaaash darn it! Why didn’t anyone tell me not to wear my beekeeper heaaaat?

Update: Could “coos” possibly refer to the cooing sound that birds make? Hmm, pretty lame, considering they were wooden birds.

Carissa Gaghan just reminded me that if Julie Chen can host a television show, a wooden bird can probably coo. Good point, Carissa.

The really exciting part of this episode, though, was not the detour, but the FAST FORWARD! Oh yes, you heard me right! Phil explained to us that in TAR:FE (is it totally geeky if I call it that?), there is only one Fast Forward in the entire race, and this one involved tandem bungee jumping! Oh PLEASE let it be the Paolos!!

Both the Paolo family and the Gaghan family voiced their intention to go for the Fast Forward, and although it would be cute to watch little Carissa plummet to near-death toward that gross brown water, I really want to see Marion Paolo do it more. It came down to a footrace to the bottom of the bungee spot, and thankfully, a well-placed van prevented the marathoners from outrunning the Paolo family.

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Go, go, go… where do we go? **SLAM**

YES! The Paolos (MARION!) are going to bungee jump! This is going to be awesome!

Surprisingly, Marion seemed unfazed by the idea of diving off of the enormous structure they were ascending, while DJ, on the other hand, was petrified. First Dad and Brian took the plunge, and seemed to have fun doing it. Next up were DJ and Marion. I had envisioned something like DJ saying “Ma, quit whining,” followed by a smack to the boy’s head, causing both of them to topple over, with screams of “YOU BETTER COOOOOOOOLLLLLL IIIIIIIITTTTTTTT!!!” as they dropped toward the sea. Instead, what we witnessed was DJ screaming SO LOUD and SO GIRLY-LIKE that Marion’s reaction was entirely muted.

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In the end, the bungee-jump turned out to be a bonding experience for Mom and DJ.

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DJ: I love you, Ma.
Marion: I love you, son.
DJ: Ma, quit huggin’ me so hard.
Marion: SHUT UP, I will hug you as hard as I want!
Carissa: You two better COOL IT!!!

After the other teams finished delivering instruments and cooing, they were off to play some baseball! On the way, one of the pink ladies told the Linz family that Tricia was going to make out with one of them! Wait, do they think they’re at spring break, too?

On the way to the baseball field, another Godlewski gal suggested that Sheaaaaron “flash em" when she runs to first base. Yikes, these ladies are crrrrrrazy in Peaaaaanamaaa! Making out with the Linz boys? Flashing 14 year old little league players! La vida loca, indeed!

The road-blaaaahck proved easy for some teams (the Linz and Gaghan families) and tougher for others. Sheaaaaron had a particularly tough time, but after a commercial-break-interrupted (read: needlessly-over-dramatically-intensified) moment of frustration, she pictured her old boss’s head on the ball and whacked a base-hit.

Our gals knew they were in last place, though, and despite some creative editing to make us think that the Gaghans might wind up trapped indefinitely behind an errant soda machine (this editing fake-out was brought to you by… delicious ice-cold Pepsi!), the pink ladies’ luck seemed to run out as the Gaghans finished fifth.

Preparing for the possibility of a non-elimination leg, the Godlewski gals donned every last pink thread in their beaaaack-peaaaaacks.

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We’re dropping drawers, girls!

I for one was nervous, thinking that it couldn’t possibly be a non-elimination leg, since this was the only leg on the entire race with a Fast Forward! But, logic be damned, it was! Poor Christine didn’t put on that beekeeper hat for nothing! Despite violating Panama's "Underpants On Top Of Underpants On Top Of Pants Act of 1974," the pink ladies will live to see another day, and (hopefully!) another country!! Yay girls!!!

So, what did all of you think of this episode-o?

Posted by Linda Ruiz at 1:26 PM | Category: Recap corner | Comments (7)

October 24, 2005

Top 10 Ladies of Reality TV

One thing (and there aren’t many) that I actually like about TAR: Family Edition is that the women are doing so well this time! I hate to admit it, but in past seasons, the men have kicked the ladies butts. No female duo has ever placed in the top 3, but there have been plenty of all-male winning teams.

However, this season, girls rule! We’ve seen four episodes so far, and the first-place finishers in every leg have been majority-female teams! First were our beloved pink ladies, followed by the Weavers and then the Bransens (x2).

In honor of the woman-dominance this season, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 ladies of reality TV (besides us, of course!), as ranked by a very scientific method which uses advanced statistical modeling – far too complicated for me to explain here. You’ll just have to trust me!

UPDATE: Karen posted her Top 10 Men of Reality TV list!

10. Meredith & Gretchen Smith (The Amazing Race 7)
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I could never remember which one was Meredith and which one was Gretchen. One of them is definitely a man though – they aren’t a lesbian-grandma couple, as I once suspected. Anyway, I’m talking about the one with the bloody head. She was quite the fighter, and her inappropriate sexual comments always amused me.

9. Frenchie Davis (American Idol 2)
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She was only onscreen for about 3 episodes, but she definitely deserves a spot in the top ten. Frenchie has an amazing voice, better than any other contestant from any season of American Idol, IMHO. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), she was silently booted from the show between episodes because of a little "porno" incident. I put "porno" in quotes because I think that’s overstating it a bit. Besides, I like the fact that she has gynormous boobs and isn’t afraid to show them off! You go girl!

8. Charla Pihlstrom (Paradise Hotel)
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This young waitress from Minnesota wasn’t particularly talented or outrageous or even interesting, like the rest of the top 10. But she managed to survive week after week in “Paradise,” despite the best efforts of all of the crazy psychos on that show (see #5, for example) to get rid of her. And, when she was given the choice between keeping her “ultimate prize” of $250,000 and splitting it with her partner, Dave, she made the obviously correct decision and kept it all for herself. Smart girl!

7. ??? (American Idol 2)
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I can’t remember her name, but she has a pretty voice. And she looks a little bit like K.D. Lang.

6. Alison Irwin (Big Brother 4/The Amazing Race 5)
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OK, I know a lot of you aren’t going to agree with me on this one. Alison was “the villain” on Big Brother 4. She was opinionated, conniving, and lied to almost everyone. But she was a master of manipulation and deception – flirting with Nathan and getting him to save her from eviction, then voting him off when he was nominated! And telling the other cast members that she thought he was gay! A secret alliance with Jun carried these two ladies to the finale, where, unfortunately all of the jury members voted against Alison except for one. Can you guess who? Gay Nathan, of course! Oh yeah, she was also on The Amazing Race with her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend Donny. They spent two whole episodes screaming at each other before the abrupt end of Alison's return to reality TV.

5. Toni Ferrari (Love Cruise/Paradise Hotel)
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“YAHTZEE!!!” / “GAME ON!!!”
Yeah, I hated her too, but her stupid quotes were almost as priceless as her crazy bug-eye faces.

4. Julie Chen (Big Brother Host)
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The perpetually fascinating host of Big Brother had to be included in the top 10. From her eclectic fashion choices to her truly unique stage presence, Julie continues to amuse and amaze us summer after summer. I think this little video montage by our friends at TVgasm truly says it all.

3. Stephenie LaGrossa (Survivor Palau/Survivor Guatemala)
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Stephenie is probably the most popular Survivor ever, and deservedly so. This girl is smart, athletic, and cunning, and if she didn’t have the immunity-challenge-curse hovering over her week after week, I’m sure she would have been the Sole Survivor in Palau. Fortunately, CBS gave her another chance in Guatemala, and despite some fans turning against her for her “whining” this season, I still think she’s awesome. Plus she has crazy eyebrows that never move!

2. Darlene Cahill (Wickedly Perfect)
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I know 99% of you are saying, “Darlene who?” I think that Wickedly Perfect may have been the least watched show ever. I’m not sure why, because it was SO GOOD! I guess you all must have had better things to do Fridays at 8:00, but you really missed out. The main reason it was so great – this woman. She is too awesome for words. She whipped up a spread of eight different delicious appetizers in the time it took the other team to make one pot of soup. I don’t think she ever sleeps. And she is better than everyone at EVERYTHING. If she was a candidate on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, she would mop the floor with everyone. Unfortunately, on Wickedly Perfect, the cast voted each other off the show, and not surprisingly, she was booted precisely because she was better than everyone else.

1. Janelle Pierzina (Big Brother 6)
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“Bye Bye Bitches!” ‘Nuff said.

If you disagree with me, or think I left anyone out, post a comment!

Posted by Linda Ruiz at 12:51 PM | Category: Womanspace | Comments (33)

October 21, 2005

Boys will be boys

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Boys do silly things when they get worked up, don't they? Did you watch Survivor last night? My gosh, what are Bobby Jon and Jamie doing here? I don't understand - maybe testosterone makes boys act stupid. (I certainly wouldn't know!)

Though I did hear a rumor that these two estrogen-charged beasts might rip off the pink tops and repeatedly slam their bare chests into each other next week:

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Yikes!

Posted by Linda Ruiz at 10:08 AM | Category: - Survivor -

October 19, 2005

Down south

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The world’s biggest office chair! NASCAR! Trailer parks! Gambling! Flannel! Naked butts!! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we’re headed down south. The Amazing Race made its way through the deep south last night on a whirlwind lame tour of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

The Bransens, winners of last week’s insane “free gasoline for life” prize, started off this leg. First stop, the world’s largest office chair.

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The cover of every “Visit Alabama!” brochure, I’m sure

Bransen girl (it’s easier to just call them all “Bransen girl” – I can’t tell them apart) mused out loud, “when I see the word Alabama, I think ‘ugly.’” Oh no she didn’t!! Ugly ole’ Alabammy ain’t getting none of this Bransen girl!

Not to be outdone by Bransen girl, Carissa Gaghan added, “when I see Alabama, I think of fat stupid people with no teeth!” Oh no she DIDN’T!! No, really, she didn’t. But you know she thought it.

Next up were the Linz siblings, who were giggling away and playing a game of “hot hands,” AKA “slap the sister.” See, Rolly & Hunter, slapping within the family = fun, but slapping outside the family = dangerous divulgence of “strategy.” Duh!

Speaking of the ultra-competitive Schroeders, they started this leg in third place. We saw a clip of Stassi Schroeder telling us how she is used to coming in first at everything she does, which, according to the rules of reality TV editing, means that they will probably be eliminated.

The Godlewski ladies were next. Dressed in a lovely assortment of pastels, they told us about how they sometimes fight. More foreshadowing, perhaps? Let’s hope so! The Paolos can’t have all the fun.

After the pink ladies left, it was the Weavers turn. Rachel Weaver began this leg by breaking the record for the world’s fastest prayer.

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DearLordwepraythatyouwillhelpusduringtheraceandthatwewillgo
reallyfastandcatchuptotheotherteams.InJesus’snameweprayAMEN.

Over in the Schroeder car, the Weaver-bashing was in full effect. Hunter called them “the white trash family,” and Stassi one-upped him by calling Mom Weaver “the wicked witch!” Ouch! Best-friend-stepmom Char chimed in, saying that at first she felt bad for them, but that was before she found out they’re evil. Stassi added, “they’re fake – at first they try to be your friend, then they try to kill you!” Whoa, that’s a little overboard missy. Where did all this Weaver hatred come from? I just wish Marion Paolo was in the car with the Schroeders. You all better COOL IT!!!

Unfortunately, Marion wasn’t there to bitch-slap Char & Stassi, because she was busy fighting with her own family, as usual.

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You boys better COOL IT!!! I could KILL YOU with this clue, you know!

Bringing up the rear were the Gaghans (AKA the rugrats), who, as usual, were telling us how the other teams underestimate them. The only thing this episode needed to be more stereotypically predictable was Ron telling us how giant office chairs reminded him of Baghdad.

After climbing the big chair, the teams all headed to the speedway in Taaaaaladeeeeega, Aaaalabeaaama, which is beaaaaack on 20 West, Sheaaaaron!! They each had to complete one leaaaaap around the treaaaack. Sorry, I’ll stop (but it’s so fun).

What looked like it might be a NASCAR race turned out to be just a ride on a weird looking group-bike. Whew, the Weavers have been spared. They’re not my favorite team, but I thought that would have been a little too mean. Perhaps Jesus answered Rachel’s super-speed-prayer?

It did, however, seem like the wrath of God had been summoned upon the Paolos as they were finishing the road-blaaaahck (oops, sorry).

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Jesus: You Paolos better COOL IT!!! I swear to FRICKIN’ GOD! And I AM GOD, so HA!

Next stop: 260 miles away in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where the teams had to find the Southern Colonel, a mobile home park. Both the Weavers and the Godlewskis called it the “Southern Colonial” – now that’s just mean, ladies! They are obviously mobile homes, not Colonials. No need to rub it in.

The Schroeders had some trouble finding the Colonel, mainly because Dad thought it would be a waste of time to stop and ask directions or look up the address, like all of the other teams did. Those tech-seaaaavy Godlewskis even found a computer where they Googled the Southern Colonel and found it immediately.

At the trailer park, the teams had to find trailers with designated departure times. Unbeknownst to them, there were three options: 7:20 am, 7:40 am, and 8:00 am. Once a team pulled off a time, they were stuck with it. The first arrivals, the Bransen and Linz families, grabbed the two 7:20 slots. The Godlewskis got the first 7:40 slot. Amazingly Incredibly stupidly, the next three teams all took the 8:00 time, leaving the last-but-lucky Paolos to get the remaining 7:40 slot.

The next morning, the teams headed to Louisiana for this week’s detour: a choice between work (sawing a log) or play (playing blackjack). Not exactly edge-of-your-seat excitement, but hey, it’s better than last week’s Gravitron challenge. Both tasks required silly costumes – blackjack teams had to dress up in period ugly suits and foofy dresses, and log-sawing teams had to dress up like lesbians:

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The pit stop for this leg of the race was just across Lake Ponchartrain, which, Mrs. Weaver pointed out, is one of the great lakes. It is also one of the seven wonders of the world, along with Pennsylvania National Park, the great state of Washington, DC, and the Virgin Mary that appeared in the form of syrup on the pancakes that she ordered at the Waffle House last week.

The teams headed to New Orleans, and this time, it was the pink ladies who seemed to be going into meltdown-mode. Christine totally lost it when her obviously lunatic sister told her to leave her backpack in the car.

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I WILL NOT ABEAAAANDON MY BEAAAACKPEAAAACK!!!

A suggestion for Christine -- here.

Team Pokey Poppa finished in first place for the second week in a row, winning a trip (from Travelocity!) to Orlando this time. As the rest of the teams made their way to the pit stop, the battle over last place was between the Schroeders and the Gaghans. We knew they were screwed when they showed that footage of them saying they always finish first, and sure enough, the Schroeders were eliminated this week.

If there is a lesson to be learned from this episode, it’s don’t mess with the Weavers. Last week, the Aiellos hated them, and they were eliminated. This week, the Schroeders called them all sorts of mean names, and they met the same fate. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and that obviously includes screwing over TAR teams who are mean to his fans. Except for Brandon and Nicole. Even Jesus thought they were annoying.

So, next week they’re finally leaving the country, woo hoo! Where do you think they’re headed? I’m betting on exotic Canada, but I’m hoping for Mexico. Mainly because I’m dying to see Carissa Gaghan try to find the train station by asking someone “Donde esta el choo chooooo?” It would be even cuter than when Charla did it!

Posted by Linda Ruiz at 2:00 PM | Category: Recap corner | Comments (3)

October 16, 2005

Martha!

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Since TAR isn't exactly riveting this season, I figured we could talk about some other shows that we like, too! Karen and I are big Apprentice fans, and I'm absolutely loving this season of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart!

Well, many of you may not know this, but the BEST part of the show actually takes place the following morning, when the "fired" contestant makes the requisite appearance on Martha's daytime show, Martha! It's especially fun when someone totally annoying gets booted (like the last two, Dawn and Shawn, who incidentally bears a freakish resemblance to Jerri Blank). The interaction usually goes something like this:

(Martha plays video of contestant doing something extremely stupid and getting fired)

MARTHA: (grinning) Welcome, _______. You were really AWFUL last night! Really, I mean, I'm sure you're not totally stupid (at least you look like you might be intelligent), but you just made a complete fool of yourself!

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REJECTED "APPRENTICE": (uncomfortable smile)

MARTHA: How could you be so lazy? Aren't you totally embarassed watching that?

REJECTED "APPRENTICE: No, it was fun! I learned a lot! (awkwardness)

MARTHA: Yeah, I'm sure you're a nice person, I would just never want you to work for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You're just totally incompetent, and we can't have incompetent lazy people at MSLO! Now lets make glitter pumpkins together!

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Except with Dawn, Martha just skipped the pumpkin-glittering entirely and instead, chatted with Mark Burnett after dissing her for 5 straight minutes.

Martha, you're AWESOME!

Posted by Linda Ruiz at 2:23 PM | Category: - Martha -

October 14, 2005

New Team Names!

I'm with Linda in her sentiment that the teams really need to get more creative about their nicknames for each other. Just to help them out, I've come up with a few suggestions! I've listed them in ranking order from the last episode:

Bransen = Team Pokey Poppa

Linz = The Brothers Dimm

Schroeder = Team Vaguely Goth/Vaguely Gay

Godlewski = Ladies Luck

Weaver = The Disoriented Disciples

Paolo = Team "It's worse at Christmas"

Gaghan = The Conniving Cutthroat Cuties

And just for fun:

Aiello = The Proud Marrieds

Rogers = Team "We love Jesus more than Dad"

Black = The team... with the tie-dyed shirts.

Posted by Karen Heins at 11:44 AM | Category: A league of our own | Comments (1)

October 12, 2005

Shrimp is small!

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Remember that section on the SAT where you had to complete a bunch of analogies? Imagine you were given one like this, which answer would you choose?

SHRIMP : SMALL :: THE AMAZING RACE – FAMILY EDITION : ________

A) AWESOME!
B) OK
C) WATERED-DOWN
D) REALLY BORING
E) B AND C
F) C AND D

So after the first episode, I was leaning toward (E), but as time goes on, it’s looking more and more like (F) to me. I expected it to be a little watered-down, but last night’s episode was pretty darn boring, too. Oh well, I’ll do my best to make it seem AWESOME! in my recap (with funny pictures!), after the jump.

The race resumed this week in Virginia at 2:26 am. That’s awfully late for a 9-year-old to be up, isn’t it? I think if Carissa can be up at all hours of the night, she can eat a hippopotamus testicle. Hmm, maybe next week. Anywho, the clue began, “drive yourself to Dulles International Airport.” YES!! They’re getting on a frickin’ plane! And flying all the way to… Charleston, SC! Yeah, pretty lame. At least they have funny accents there, so we can pretend it’s kind of exotic. The teams had a little trouble pronouncing the airport name (the Linz kids called it “Dulls,” while the Bransen ladies apparently thought they were in France, directing the driver to Dullés Airport).

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Allons-y! L’aeroport Dullés!! Vive la France!!!

The mad dash to get the best possible flight is a staple of TAR. However, Washington, DC to Charleston, SC is a pretty common itinerary, compared to say, Tanzania to Anchorage via Singapore. So, 5 teams made it on the first flight, with the Bransens and Gaghans on flight #2 (arriving two minutes later), and the Paolos on flight #3 (arriving about 30 minutes after that).

There was some drama in the airport when Stassi Schroeder and David Aiello accused the Weavers of being “sneaky,” because they were asking lots of information from the ticket counter lady. Really, they just haven’t flown much and had no idea how the whole “airport” thing works, so they were asking the lady to explain it to them. Oh Linda Weaver, you sneaky snake! The Schroeders called them SBD (silent but deadly), which I always thought referred to extra-stinky farts that make no noise (remember those Ostrich eggs, Karen??)

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SBD: severe bowel disturbance

The Weavers then noticed the Paolo family, and said, “the Cleavers are here,” which reminds me of an important point…

Why do the teams have such lame names for each other this season? Remember past seasons? Team Cha Cha Cha, The Gutsy Grannies, Ike & Tina, OJ & Nicole, The Hilton sisters. This time, it’s the Florida Team, Team Louisiana, and the Cleavers, which I totally don’t understand, because DJ and Brian really don't remind me of Wally and the Beav at all. I think someone referred to the Godlewskis as the Desperate Housewives in episode 1, but I can’t really picture Bree Van de Kamp wearing a t-shirt with Felicity Huffman’s face silk-screened on it, so I don’t really get that one either. Can’t you do any better, guys?

Back to the airport, the tension was too much for some of the teams, as Char Schroeder yelled at Hunter for “giving away their strategy” to Rolly Weaver.

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Our strategy is to slap you until you giggle! Take that!

Hunter responded by calling stepmom Char a bitch! Yeah!! I normally don’t approve of such language, but I had to agree this time.

After a harrowing two-hour flight, the teams all arrived in South Carolina and proceeded to this week’s detour. The two tasks to choose from were de-heading two big crates of shrimp, or driving a truck through a very muddy pit. It was the classic Amazing Race detour dilemma: the straightforward, tedious task or the difficult one that could take anywhere from 10 minutes to 10 hours. Everyone chose the shrimp (despite the fact that shrimp is small!), except for the Weavers, Aiellos and Gaghans. The Weavers went a couple of rounds in the mud and quickly decided to do the shrimp instead. The Aiellos kept getting stuck in the mud, too. Perhaps this task is impossible? Actually, no, the Gaghans showed up next, hopped in the truck and finished in one try! And Carissa was driving!! Ok, not really (but that would have been so much cooler).

Over at the shrimp boat, the other teams are squeezing little shrimpies until their heads pop off. Not all that exciting, except for the brief romance that we witnessed between Tommy Linz and a soon-to-be headless beauty.

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Finally, a gal whose neck is as big as her head, just like mine! I love you!! Wait, how do I know if you're a boy or a girl? Oh, I don't care!!! *slurp, slurp*

Next up, the teams have to take a mystery bus ride. They’re bunched into two groups: one bus leaves at 3:00 pm and the other two hours later. They are not told where they're going or how long the ride will take, which apparently drives the Weavers “insane,” if you define “insane” as giggling a lot and dancing in the parking lot of a Waffle House.

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Maybe I just watch too much reality TV, but when I think of insane behavior, something like this comes to mind (thanks TVGasm!) The Weavers’ behavior was just weird.

When the bus ride ends, the teams find themselves in Huntsville, Alabammy, where they must complete this leg’s road-blaaaahck, which is literally a trip to space camp. Two members from each team have to ride on a astronaut-training thing that is sort of like a fancy version of that ride that they have at every amusement park, except instead of the floor dropping out and being pinned to the wall upside down, you just sit there. Crazy!

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If you hadn’t noticed, gravity is currently pushing on me. See what a bad-ass I am? Take that, Jeff Probst!

Since there is only one Gravitron centrifuge, the teams can only complete the roadblock one at a time. Obviously, the four teams on the first bus get there first, and each take a turn spinning around. Afterwards, they walked a whole mile to a space museum to watch Phil deliver the cheesiest AOL-promo of all time via a computer screen, before checking in at the pit stop.

First place went to the Bransen family this week, and they won a lifetime of free gas from BP, which given today’s prices and their ages, is worth, according to my calculations, about one zillion dollars. And all they could cough up for the fantasy game is $200? Shame on you, CBS. Not surprisingly, because the roadblock could only be completed one team at a time, even the remotest possibility of excitement was eliminated as each team finished in the same order that they arrived at the centrifuge.

The four teams on bus #2 arrived two hours behind, and despite their “meltdown” at the Waffle House, the Weavers pulled it together to finish fifth. The Paolos improved on their performance last week with a sixth place finish, and the Gaghans were right behind in seventh place. The Aiello family finished last, and was eliminated.

But the real news about the Aiellos was their choice of fashion this week. You guessed it, silk-screened t-shirts!!! Apparently this is quite the trend in Season 8, but let’s not forget who started this craze!

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How cool are we?

So that's it from me! What did everyone else out there think about this week’s episode?

UPDATE: Apparently I missed a new nickname during this episode -- TEAM FRUIT LOOP! Ha! Not bad.

Posted by Linda Ruiz at 9:35 PM | Category: Recap corner | Comments (31)

October 9, 2005

Who can resist?

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I'm with you, Linda, in voting for the Godlewski gals, not only as my favorite family team, but also as my prediction to win it all. I think you and I could have won if we had had FOUR strong ladies on our team. They are a shoo-in for sure.

But as for why America loves little Carissa Gaghan, just look at the above photo. Who could resist a cute little 9-year-old carrying dead bodies off a battle field? It's so patriotic, and tragic, and... well... CUTE! The Godlewskis are no slouches though. Check out their body-lifting effort in a photo after the jump.

I'm getting excited for this week's episode, but can we please have some snacks at the party other than scrambled ostrich egg, Linda? I think I had my fill of that in Tanzania. It may have looked delicious to you from the SIDELINES, but that was work!

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Carrying the fallen like true heroes. You go, girls!

Posted by Karen Heins at 9:54 PM | Category: That's a turkey!

October 8, 2005

Show some love!

The voting results are in at the official Amazing Race website, and America's favorite family is (at least as of the time I'm typing this)... The Gaghan Family!

I personally voted for the Godlewski ladies. Why doesn't America love them as much as I do? If you do, VOTE NOW!

In other (unsurprising) voting results, the Linz Family is the favorite to win, and almost eveyone thinks that the Paolo Family will be eliminated week. Oh I hope you're wrong about that, America!

Posted by Linda Ruiz at 1:51 PM | Category: Oh no they didn't!

October 5, 2005

The sky is blue

The sea is… green? I always thought it was blue, too, but I’ve never actually been to Washington, DC. Maybe the water out there just isn’t very clean.

Anyway, last night CBS brought us episode 2 of The Amazing Race: Family Edition, and I must admit, I was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoy the family dynamic, and I think the cast of characters this season is pretty interesting. But the race itself is definitely watered down, or at least it was last night. It’s not really the lack of travel to exotic locales, or the “race through American history” theme that bothers me. It’s the super-easy, even cheesy Detours and Roadblocks (or road-blaaaahcks, as the Godlewski gals say). See Exhibits A and B. Oh well, I’ll stop being negative. The show itself was still pretty entertaining. Plus there are funny pictures after the jump.

The episode began with all of the teams driving off to a big house shaped like a shoe. They had to race all the way up NEARLY TWENTY STEPS to get to the flag at the top! Oops, that was sarcastic, and I promised to be positive. Sorry. Sadly, the Godlewski gals’ first-place lead quickly evaporated while driving to the death-defying shoe-house challenge, as they slipped to third place. Gotta get with the program ladies, can’t take those little leads for granted!

Next it was off to our nation’s capital, Washington, DC. Now, I may live in Palmdale, CA, but I certainly have a pretty good sense of American geography, or at least, you know, common-knowledge facts that even 6-year-olds know, like that Pennsylvania is a state and that Washington, DC is not actually in a state. It’s its own special little place, because, you know, it’s like, the capital of America. The Weavers, however, spent the ride debating whether they were going to Washington State or to Maryland. Hopefully Jesus will help them find Washington, DC, and perhaps give them a crash course in sixth-grade geography along the way. Oops, there goes negative Linda again! Tsk tsk.

On the way to DC, Billy Gaghan did an excellent impersonation of Marion Paolo when she gets pissed.

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You boys better COOL IT!!! I swear to frickin’ God!

Side note: Did anyone notice the Godlewski gals' “new look” this week? Last week they featured the (mostly) all-pink ensemble. But this week, whoa! T-shirts with silk-screened photos on them! Photos of what, you ask? Well, I can’t tell for sure, but it looks like pictures of each other!!! I’m not joking, look for yourself.

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Can you tell? Are they photos of each other? The last one actually reminds me a bit of this photo, but maybe her boob is just making the face look weird.

Fast-forward to Washington, DC, and the teams have to find a clue next to the reflecting pool at the Capitol. Notice I emphasized the at the Capitol part, because apparently there are two pools! Oh you sneaky Amazing Race producers!! This threw a number of teams off as they wasted tons of time at the other pool. Surprisingly, the Weavers had little trouble with this. I half-expected them to ask, “What is the U.S. Capitol? Is that a state?? I think it’s on the border of Washington State and Maryland, near a park called Pennsylvania.”

Next it was on to the Road-blaaaahck, which was a covert spy operation! Tres exciting!! Actually, not really. It was pretty boring. My favorite “spy” was the one Tammy found. Very covert-looking indeed.

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After trading briefcases, spy-lady turned to the camera and moaned, “LAMBORGHINI!”

OK, I know this is an Amazing Race blog. But I can make an Apprentice joke, can’t I? For those who don’t watch that show, you're missing out. Check out this hilarious clip. (via TVGasm)

After the exhilarating covert operation, the teams were on to somewhere in Virginia-tucky, where they were faced with a Detour which gave them the choice of lighting lamps or carrying “wounded soldiers,” a.k.a. desperate actors who couldn’t get a better gig than doing a civil war re-enactment on the Amazing Race.

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My agent is so fired.

The Weavers blew through the lamp-lighting to finish in first place, winning a trip to somewhere I can’t remember, not that they know where it is anyway. The Linz family rebounded from near-elimination last week to place second this time, and our favorite formerly-pink-ladies fell to third place. As always on TAR, the real battle was over last place. It was the Paolos versus the Rogers, and ultimately the Rogers got the boot. I hope Mr. Rogers felt really stupid watching this episode because he was a total jerk to his son, and was basically the reason his family finished last. Thankfully the Paolos will live to see another day, and we can look forward to another week of their zany antics. Yes, they fight a lot, but I like them.

So what did all of YOU think? Will the Godlewski gals regain their lead, and (more importantly) their coordinated pinkness? Will the teams finally get on a plane, or better yet eat something gross and barf some of it back up? Will the next episode be less boring, or will I have to rely on screen captures with silly captions to entertain myself again?

Posted by Linda Ruiz at 12:19 PM | Category: Recap corner | Comments (3)

October 3, 2005

Separated at birth?

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The resemblance is uncanny, isn't it?

Posted by Linda Ruiz at 11:21 AM | Category: Gosh! | Comments (3)