December 16, 2005
Many of our readers have written to us to ask if we know why the Weaver family signed up for The Amazing Race in the first place. They never really seemed that into it, exemplified by their obvious disinterest in even completing the Stade Olympique challenge during the finale.
Well, some investigative reporting has uncovered yet another Just Us Moms! exclusive – the Weaver family never even meant to sign up for The Amazing Race!! Linda just wanted to enroll her children in the Camp Overton Summer Camp for Christian Youth (where radios are allowed, but to play Christian music ONLY).
But instead, Linda mistakenly applied for the CBS reality series rather than the Tennessee Jesusfest, and the rest is history. It’s a good thing for Rebecca and Rachel, because I don’t think the counselors at the First Church of God in Murfreesboro would have taken too kindly to their booty-shorts-wearin’ ways, anyway.
December 15, 2005
Rolly's Christmas Wish
Yes, Rolly, there is a Santa Claus!
The Amazing Race: Family Edition was so boring that everyone is hoping for something better next time. Rolly Weaver, one of this season's third place finishers and soon-to-be forgotten blond heartthrob of 8-to-14 year old young ladies across North America, has even asked Santa for a return to the tried-and-true format in Season Nine.
Well, Rolly, it looks like Santa was listening, because as Just Us Moms! reader Terry pointed out, Phil gave us a little preview of The Amazing Race 9 at the end of the finale on Tuesday! I was so
tired drunk by the end of the two-hour long episode that I completely missed it. But a quick review of my TiVo confirmed that it was there, and it looks like we can expect a return to the Amazing Race that we've all grown to love.
Some highlights of what we can look forward to in February of 2006, after the jump!
Season Nine of The Amazing Race will have....
Teams of two (with cocktails)!
Whatever the heck this thing is!
Ooooh, I'm excited already! Thanks Santa!
December 14, 2005
Well, it’s finally over! After slipping into a coma what seems like years ago in some park called Pennsylvania, and dying a slow, painful death since its visit to the world’s largest office chair, The Amazing Race: Family Edition is finally dead. Hopefully the massive decline in ratings has taught the show’s producers that the tried-and-true format of two-person, adult teams traveling around the world is what works, and next season we can get back to the good times of spicy-soup eating and fighting with African cab drivers.
In the meantime, though, let’s take one more trip down Family Edition memory lane, with a look back at the
mildly exciting not totally coma-inducing two-hour season finale!
The race resumed on some ranch (of course) in Eastern Montana, where Phil’s disembodied voice told us that “cattle and sheep outnumber people by the millions.” Perhaps if they ever plan to do an Amazing Race: Cattle and Sheep Edition, this might be the ideal location. Among all of those trillions of cows, there are probably some pretty hilarious regional differences (think pink-clad cows “MAAAAAA-ing”) that would inevitably lead to great reality TV moments. For the record, that idea is MINE, CBS! And don’t you try changing it to Pig Edition or something and pretend I didn’t come up with it!
Anyway, for any sort of Human Edition, this area is totally boring. Thankfully, the families had already visited every single ranch and humongous man-made structure in the continental United States, so it was off to Canada, of course! Ok, it’s not that exotic, but at least somebody might say “aboot” or “paaahhsta” and I can giggle at them.
Since the 1,700 miles between Billings and Montreal was a little far to lug those damn trailers, they actually let the families board airplanes again. This time, they had pre-purchased tickets for them, but they were allowed to try to find faster flights if they wanted. While the Weavers and the Linzes found an itinerary that got them to Montreal an hour earlier than planned, the Bransens wound up on a plane that might have saved them 10 minutes, but ended up being delayed, putting them almost an hour and a half behind the others.
Coincidentally, the Weavers arrived in Montreal just in time for the annual Booty Shorts Expo 2005
The mad dash through the airport wasn’t without its casualties, however, as Alex Linz and Rolly Weaver collided, sending both of them to the floor. It looked like a complete accident to me, but since Linda sees in Weaver-vision (which incidentally, also allows you to see the Virgin Mary in various foods and highway overpasses), she spotted something sinister and screamed out “don’t touch him, get your hands off of him!” in her usual deranged-wacko voice. Sadly, Alex only responded with, “they suck,” rather than my favorite Linz-impersonating-Linda-Weaver voice. Because the only thing funnier than Linda’s deranged-wacko voice is the Linzes impersonation of her deranged-wacko voice.
Once in Montreal, the teams had to travel by taxi to a train station, where they had to locate the “underground city,” and navigate a subterranean complex of passageways to find the basement of the CBP Capital Building.
The Weavers found a cab first, driven by AWESOME Ted, who didn’t seem so awesome at first when Rolly tried to explain that they were in a race by saying, “el fasto!” which of course, doesn’t make sense anywhere, but is even stupider in Canada. “I’m not going to lose my life getting you there,” Senor Ted responded-o. However, the incessant repetition of “Merci, Merci!” and “You’re AWESOME!” and “You’re the man, Ted!” apparently swayed him, because after a few miles they were best buds, and were even praying for directions together.
Well the Lord was apparently having an off day (or was just screwing with them), because after an uneventful stop at the underground city, he led them in the wrong direction on their way to their next stop, the McGill arena. But the Weavers eventually found the right rink, and the Linzes godless heathen cab driver made the same mistake, so the Weavers were able to hold onto their sizeable lead.
This episode’s (first) detour was a choice between two traditional Canadian sports: Slide It or Roll It. Slide It was, of course, the most Canadian of Canadian sports, curling. (Despite the implication in that picture, the women of curling are not all man-beasts, and they do not usually use black people’s afros to sweep the floor.)
In Roll It, two team members at a time had to roll a log (using weird metal claw-like devices) along a track made of other logs. Seriously, this is apparently a sport in Canada. They need to get some Ecstasy up there or something.
Anyway, the Weavers and Linzes opted for Slide It. Despite “not even knowing what ice is except for ice cubes,” (and forgetting to wear pants), the Weavers were actually pretty good at curling.
After finishing with a bulls-eye courtesy of Rolly, the Weaver gals, frostbitten thighs and all, treaded back to find SUPER-COOL-AWESOME Ted, who was waiting outside to take them to their next destination. The Linzes followed shortly thereafter, and they really seemed to be into the curling, even vowing to “open a curling rink in Cincinnati.”
The Bransens, on the other hand, chose the long rolling, most likely because they did not have matching curling outfits.
Seriously, they do this for fun in Canada.
After that exciting introduction to Canadian sports culture, everyone was off to the next destination.
The Worlds Largest Golfball
The next clue was at the top of the world’s largest whatever-it-is, which directed the teams to 2350 Dickson Street, La Porte J. In case you didn’t know, “La Porte J” is French for “Door J.” And “La Crappé Show” is French for “The Amazing Race: Family Edition.”
Inside the very francais door was this weeks Road-blaaahck (oh I miss the Gaaadlewskis), in which one person from each team would have to perform a trapeze maneuver called “the catch,” which really should have been called, “the be caught,” since it basically just involved them swinging off the pole and being caught by a trapeze guy.
The Weavers still had a good lead on everyone, and Rolly volunteered for the fairly boring roadblock. He had no trouble at all, completing in on his first try.
The Linzes were next, and Alex chose to do the roadblock (probably because the trapeze helpers were hot girlies), proving that the task wasn’t so easy after all, especially if you are (in his brothers’ words) a “fat load.”
I like big butts and I cannot lie. Seriously, Alex... call me. Rrowr!
Megan offered some words of encouragement to her fat-ass brother. “Think light! Think feather!” Unfortunately this worked about as well as Bransen Girl’s, “You’re a fish! A skinny fish!” worked on Wally earlier in the season. In other words, it didn’t work, as Alex plopped to the net 2 or 3 times in a row. Probably because light feathers don’t have big fat (sexy) asses.
Eventually, Alex got it, but not until the Bransens had already caught up and the Weavers were long gone (and already driving around Canada screaming “You’re AWESOME, Ted!” and "Dear Lord, please help Ted stay so AWESOME!" every 30 seconds).
The next destination on their Canadian adventure was the Stade Olympique, which absolutely nobody could pronounce. Both the Weavers and the Linzes tried to Americanize it (pronouncing Stade like “Stayed”), while the Bransens over-French-ified it, calling the stadium the “Stadé Olympiahhhque.” Tres francais!
Much of the Weavers’ lead disappeared as they spent what seemed like forever driving around the Stade looking for the lone entrance. This was probably the result of Linda’s brilliant “always go left, because right is the most common” strategy. Don’t even try to understand that one, it’s WAY over your head.
Eventually everyone found their way inside, and made their way to the clue box at center field, where they learned that they would have to search the Stade’s 56,000 seats for the departure times of three charter planes that would leave the next day.
Note to producers: THIS is my favorite type of TAR task! The incredibly frustrating, partly-luck, partly-strategy task. People always lose it and fun drama ensues. More, please!
After hunting around for what seemed like an eternity, the Linz family was the first to find a departure time. Apparently the strategy part of the task (deciding whether or not to take it) was lost, as everyone was so sick of looking that they just took it, and were locked into a departure time of 5:50.
The Bransens seemed to be going into powder-blue meltdown mode, with Walder ranting about his toe and saying he was going to kick someone’s ass. I was afraid he might lose it and pummel all three Bransen Girls right there, but BG#2 found a time shortly after (5:45), and Wally-beast calmed down.
The Weavers, on the other hand, despite being the first family to arrive, were having no luck finding anything. Perhaps because their “looking for departure times” strategy went something line this:
Rolly was the only one who even seemed to care that they were in the FINAL LEG OF A RACE FOR A MILLION DOLLARS, as he pleaded with his family to keep looking. “Look how many chairs there are, I can’t even count that high,” math-whiz Rebecca responded. Seriously, President Bush, I don’t think that No Child Left Behind thing worked.
“This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Except for letting my Mom do my highlights.”
After an abundance of pleading, Rolly convinced his family to keep trying, and they eventually found the last departure time: 5:55 am.
Bright and early the next morning, the teams boarded their charter flights for a mystery destination, which turned out to be Toronto. When the planes landed, they proceeded to the CN tower, where they made the 1,100 foot ascent to the observation deck, and used binoculars to search for the yellow flag.
Next up, Detour #2: Ship or Shoe. This choice seemed obvious, since Ship only required the teams to climb to the top of a rope-ladder-thing on a ship to get a flag, while Shoe involved finding the one woman in a room of 100 barefoot ladies who fit the shoe that they chose.
I don't think it was a coincidence that Toronto General Hospital reported 100 cases of severe Athlete’s Foot that same day.
The Linzes and the Weavers chose Ship, while again, the Bransens went with the opposite. Maybe the producers made them do it because they had already paid the barefoot ladies to show up. Who knows.
Tommy Linz made it up and down the ship-ladder with no problem, and so did Rolly Weaver. The Bransens, on the other hand, seemed to be getting frustrated with their choice of tasks, but eventually found the right feet.
Despite the show’s general boringness, I have to admit I was a little excited at this point. It seemed like anyone could win it, and I was definitely rooting for the Linzes. I like them – they’re fun and competitive. This picture sums them up perfectly – Alex making his patented “insane eyes face,” while Tommy picks his nose.
Anyway, there was some random pointless boat ride in there, which I won’t even explain, because there is no need. It added nothing besides a couple of funny shots of people getting splashed by water.
The teams made their way back to the U.S., to Lewiston, New York (just barely over the Canadian border), where Phil introduced the final roadblock. However, after last week’s TV-MA Roadblock: Find the Balls, the producers will only allow Phil to be shown from the waist up (sort of like Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan show). The women of America just can’t handle it.
G rated Phil.
The final task was most appropriate for Family Edition: a giant puzzle of North America.
If only we could have seen the Weavers try to put this together.
Update: Apparently, the Weaver family did not even bother trying to put the puzzle together. Not that it mattered, anyway. (via Reality Blurred)
The Weavers had fallen pretty far behind, so it was down to Wally Bransen versus Nick Linz. It was close, but in the end, little old Rhode Island came between the Bransens and a million dollars, as Nick finished the puzzle while Wally struggled to find the tiniest state.
So the Linz family (incidentally, my pick to win back in August, thankyouverymuch!) won it all, and went back to Cincinnati, where they opened Ohio’s first curling rink. Yay, Linzes!
So, that’s it! The season is finally over! What did all of you think? Are you sad to see it end? Or were you totally sick of it, too?
Well, it looks like Season 9 won’t begin until sometime in February 2006, but in the meantime, Karen and I will periodically weigh in on other shows, so keep checking back – and if there’s anything else you watch that you want to know our thoughts on, let us know!!
December 8, 2005
Roadblock: Find the balls
Was anyone else distracted during Tuesday's Amazing Race as Phil Keoghan did his traditional walk towards the camera? He was describing the Roadblock in that particular episode of The Amazing Race: FAMILY Edition, which involved searching for colored golf balls, when I noticed something peculiar, even a bit inappropriate for prime time I feel, and even more inappropriate for a "family edition" of anything. Did you notice it, Linda? Am I just crazy? Are Phil's pants just "European cut"?
Here, let's have a closer look:
I think I won the roadblock! My color is khaki! Or maybe it's a pair of ostrich eggs...
December 7, 2005
You know how in past seasons, The Amazing Race seems to get more exciting as the number of teams dwindle, until there are only three left, and by the final episode you’re literally on the edge of your seat screaming RUN DAMMMMIT!! at the television? Well, that’s not happening with TAR: Ranch Edition. In fact, I was so bored with last night’s episode that I didn’t really even pay very close attention, and I had to have more than a couple of vodka tonics to make it to the end. Will my recap suffer? Most likely… but you’ll have to keep reading to find out!
The longest leg ever resumed at the ranch located at 15200, which coincidentally is also the number of consecutive days that Rolly Weaver has been wearing this shirt.
After learning that they were still racing, the surprise clue from Phil instructed the teams to drive themselves 49 miles toward Dubois, Wyoming and find Turtle Ranch. The Godlewskis, newly energized after rebounding from a tearful-near elimination before the Pit Stop fakeout, yelled to Phil, “you’re just torturing us!” To which Phil replied, “I know, I’m torturing you.” Having overheard the whole exchange, Dick Cheney peered out the window of his ranch at 12501 and snickered, “I’ve got some pink hoods and shackles picked out just for you lovely ladies… mwahahahaha!”
The name of the next destination had the Pink Ladies guessing about what might be in store for them. “Maybe we have to go eat some turtles,” Christine said. Ooh I hope so! Turtle milkshakes, please?
On the road again, the Weavers argue over whether to fill up the tank. “We’ll get gas tomorrow,” Linda decides. Hmm, that sounds like a bad idea. I can’t imagine there are loads of gas stations in between those 15,000 acre ranches. Foreshadowing perhaps?
Arriving at the Turtle Ranch, there were no turtles to be found, which was especially disappointing to Rolly because he was really CRAVEing a creamy turtle-based beverage. Instead, the teams found a sign indicating the hours of operation of the ranch: 7:00 am to 4:30 pm. Now, I don’t understand why a ranch would have hours of operation, but I’ll play along.
The overnight stay in the trailers provided yet another opportunity for the Weavers to complain that nobody talks to them (while locking themselves inside their trailer), and for the other teams to complain about how they always complain that nobody talks to them. Sigh. Will one of the Linzes please do it with a Bransen girl or something, please? I’m bored.
Side note: In all honesty, the boringness isn't the players’ fault at all. I actually think the teams are pretty interesting – well the Bransens are kind of boring, but the Linzes are funny, the Godlewskis straddle the love them/they annoy the creaaaap out of me line well, making them entertaining, and the Weavers are totally annoying, but I love to hate them (and according to the 13 year old girls that apparently make up most of the Just Us Moms! readers, Rolly is hottt!). The blame lies with whoever conceived this stupid 90%-U.S. edition. I hope that dumbass was fired.
Anyway, at the crack of dawn, the teams had to race across the now-open-for-business ranch toward a bunch of vans lined up on the road, with drivers waiting to take them to this week’s detour: Pioneer Spirit or Native Tradition. Lame name, but the task actually wasn’t too bad. The choice was between assembling the (very heavy) wheels to a covered wagon, hitching it to some horses and driving ¼ mile, or putting together a big teepee. The Linzes and Bransens chose the wagon, while the Weavers and the Godlewskis decided to tackle the teepee instead. Now, after the pink ladies’ dismal performance in the last construction-oriented detour (the railroad thing), I thought the teepee was a poor choice. And of course, I was right.
The wagon was pretty tough to put together, but ¼ mile wasn’t very far to ride, so the Linzes and Bransens finished first, and were quickly on the road to Cody, Wyoming, 200 miles away.
Nick Linz’s impersonation of a Godlewski speaking.
The teepee builders, on the other hand, were still hard at work, and it was the Weavers who finished theirs first and presented it to the Chief for approval. “Chief, come into our tribe and we’ll have dinner for you one time,” Linda said to the Chief. “Linda, you go to buffalo and try the banana in the sky too,” the chief replied. Wow, who knew the Chief was fluent in Weaverese?
As predicted, the Godlewskis had trouble with this one, but thanks to the superhuman strength of Chrissy’s beaaaack, they were able to finish and were still in the race.
It looks like she is struggling, but that’s actually just the face that Christine makes when she poses for a photo.
Next stop, Cody, Wyoming! A bustling town with paved roads and everything. The teams had to find the hotel named after Buffalo Bill’s daughter, and given the booming hotel industry in Cody, Wyoming, you can bet that was a challenge. Inside the hotel, the families had to dress in period clothes and have their pictures taken with “Buffalo Bill.” Seriously folks, I don’t make this creaaaap up. That was really it. Not even the world’s largest buffalo turd or anything.
Please hurry up and change, I have tickets to a Marilyn Manson show in an hour.
One at a time, the teams dressed up in dorky, poorly-fitted clothes and posed for pictures. Nick Linz asked if they had to wear pants, which really excited Karen for a moment, but then we realized he just meant no costume pants, and not no pants at all. Oh poo. Though if you pretend that they have no pants on, this picture is a lot funnier.
Probably the best moment of the entire episode came next, as we saw a newly-impatient, competitive side of Wally emerge as the “race” (I’m putting it in quotes now) nears the end and the million-dollar prize is actually in sight. The Linzes were joking around with the photographer and generally being silly, when Walder sternly interjected, “come on guys, pose. Let’s go.” Bransen girl even told him to “chill.” Next week, I predict that Wally is going to bump chests with Nick Linz, Survivor style.
The Bransens finally got their turn, and they loved the photo so much that Wally suggested using it for the family Christmas card.
Merry Christmas, from Wally Bransen and 3 whores I picked up in Cody, Wyoming.
After the exhilarating take-your-picture-in-stupid-clothes adventure, everyone had to travel 70 miles to a golf course in Red Lodge, Montana, where they found both an un-subtlely-placed product and the next road-blaaaahck.
Is it a tiny car or a giant Phil?
To answer my own ridiculous question above, it was a tiny car/golf cart – a Buick Lucerne, to be specific. I’m not sure why, but I just love this golf cart so much that I could take it out to dinner. Anyway, it was another two person (3 person if you love your golf cart THAT much) roadblock this week. The teams had to pick a color, and then drive around the golf course looking for four balls of that color.
“All they have to do is search for balls?” Megan Linz asked. Amazingly, her brothers had no comment. Was this one just too easy, guys?
Actually, the ball-hunting proved a challenge for the Linzes, who forgot to look in the hole (oh come on now, some genitalia humor? pleaaaase?) allowing the Bransens to make up some time and ultimately finish in first-place this week. The pit stop was (you guessed it!) at another ranch, where they won a brand-new 2006 Buick Lucerne! The full size one, not the Charla version. Wally loved it so much he immediately invited it over for pasta, and named it Bransen Girl #4.
Just behind them were the almost-always second place Linzes, who along with the Bransens have now secured a spot in the final leg.
So it was the Weavers and the Godlewskis left to battle for last place. After an exciting ride filled with discussion of who looked the most disgusting in their photo, the Weavers made it to the golf course first, and Linda and Rolly started looking for balls. But the pink ladies were not far behind, and they arrived at the green while the Weavers were still there, so I hoped they were still in it. Michelle and Sharon headed out in the Lucerne, and meltdown #3 of the hour ensured almost immediately after Michelle nearly ejected Sheaaaaron from the ceaaaaar at least 3 times.
They were eventually able to finish the roadblock without Sharon becoming pink roadkill, but the Weavers had a pretty good lead on them, and even a nearly-empty gas tank and a brief run-in with the law couldn’t stop those crazy Weavers, who finished in third place, also guaranteeing them a spot in the final episode. Hopefully they will say more dumb things next week to give me something to write about – this week was a little weak on the stupidity. Frankly, I was disappointed.
And sadly, our beloved pink ladies placed last, and were eliminated. Really, though, this was the third time (if you count last week) that they finished last. And lately, they had gotten kind of annoying. So I didn’t care that much. Or maybe I just don’t give a creaaaap about this show anymore.
Any thoughts? Are you all excited about the big good (Linz) versus evil (Weaver) versus boring (Bransen) showdown next week? Post some comments!
December 5, 2005
Something to look forward to
Although the current season of the Amazing Race has yet to conclude, the overall crappiness of the Family Edition has many of us yearning for Season 9, where we hope to see the combination of excitement, relationship drama, eating gross things and barfing, and Americans acting clueless overseas and screaming at foreign airline ticket agents that we had come to expect.
Well, according to the latest news from Reality Blurred, we should have something better than a tour of scenic Utah to look forward to next season.
Also, in TAR fashion news, although their rear ends are partially obstructed by backpacks, we are sad to report that it appears that Rebecca Weaver's unfortunate sweatpants-with-words-on-the-butt fashion statement has carried over into Season 9. However, we are encouraged that at least the lettering has been upgraded from sloppy handwriting to what appears to be stitched on fabric letters, and the butt-placement has moved from saggy low-butt to perky high-butt. At least it's a step in the right direction.
Butt-Lettering for Fall 2005:
And the "new look" for Spring 2006:
(Credit to a forum poster at Reality TV World for reproducing this image.)
December 2, 2005
Ooh La La
No caption necessary....
December 1, 2005
I hear it playing, and it's playing for Leslie
You know, Linda, funny you should mention the "stupid music." I was just musing about that tonight as I was watching last night's episode of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. The two teams were challenged to spend $65,000 (!!!) to design and execute a showroom for a new Buick that is trying to be classy enough to be considered a Cadillac. Team Primarius, the sensible team, decided to make a minimalist design with black contemporary benches surrounding a silver platform in the middle that featured the car. It looked nice and the GM executives liked it so much they decided to use it in their 2700 showrooms around the country! I saw the relief in their faces as they realized they wouldn't have to use that "I like my car so much I took it out to dinner" campaign they had been busy planning.
So imagine their horror when they saw the final result of Team Matchstick's $65,000 disaster. It consisted of some platforms stacked on top of each other with some dirty canvas tarps thrown over them and a vase of flowers in the middle (see above photo). The idea was that the car was so luxurious that you wanted to take it into the restaurant with you, hence the slogan "No Valet Necessary." Too bad the "restaurant" looked like it had been built by the outcasts on Survivor. Even Alexis was appalled, "The elegant restaurant just wasn't elegant."
Now, for the record I thought the "take your car to dinner" idea was cute (being Ryan's idea, how could it not be?), but as soon as Team Matchstick started putting it together, the "stupid music" began and it quickly became apparent that Matchstick was going to lose, even though Jim and Betheny of Primarius were bickering like five-year-old children throughout their project. The music drove home the point that Project Manager Leslie Sanchez was simply not content to ruin the United States of America (by creating expensive Republican marketing campaigns directed at Hispanic voters for the Bush administration), but she wanted to ruin Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as well, by using her dubious market research skills to, as Martha put it, "talk a lot but say very little," and eventually produce nothing. Way to go Leslie! Now that Martha has kicked you out, you can go back to writing Republican propaganda and being generally tacky.
On a side note, did anyone find Dawna and MSLO CEO Susan Lyne strikingly similar-looking? I think that could work either for or against Dawna, depending on whether there is room for another blonde at MSLO.