April 8, 2006

Linda Ruiz

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Fish


I’m not going to beat around the bush – this week’s episode kind of sucked, didn’t it? The tasks were pretty easy. There were hardly any opportunities for a real shake-up in the team order. The traveling was limited to driving “around the quaint towns of Sicily,” as the official CBS episode summary described it. What, no gottdang flyin’ bus, Lake pondered? Sorry, Dr. Jerkoff Hick, DDS. Not this week. Just a picturesque tour of quaint Sicilian Teatros and Antiteatros. Fences with heads and statues with none. And cute little doggies who like to have their tummies rubbed. Awwww!

BJ: I love rubbing tummies. But it’s more fun when they have nipple rings.

Karen and I give this episode two bowling balls down. Wait, that doesn’t make any sense. Two bowling pins down. Hmm, that makes sense, but it’s pretty lame. Two giant turds! Yeah. In other words, we were not impressed.

Quite honestly, I wasn’t sure what CBS was thinking when they moved the show to its new 8:00 pm Wednesday timeslot (Don’t you love TVgasm’s cute little school bus? I wish we had the budget for cool graphics like that!), and the first episode they show on the new night is this pile of crapola. And according to Reality Blurred, the already-suffering ratings took a bit of a nose dive. Anyway, I’ll stop bitching. Every season is allowed to have one boring episode. And there were a few good moments…

So the leg began (and ended) in Sicily. Tyler and BJ (I just can’t see his name anymore without thinking of those nasty pictures… ick!) started things off, with the fratboys on their tails (not literally…. yet, anyway).

Side note: The above comments should not in any way be construed to imply anything about the sexuality (i.e., gayness) of Eric and Jeremy. First of all, they are not gay. Second, I don’t want to become a permanent part of a parking lot. I’m pretty sure it would be the parking lot on this block, but that’s purely coincidental.

So anyway, the boys made their way to this week’s first destination – the Antiteatro Romano. I was wondering if it was some sort of anti-matter version of a teatro (or teeeeeaayyyyyytrowe, in Lake-speak), like a teatro that fell into a black hole. I pondered sending an email to quantum-physics expert (read: not a dumb blonde) Monica to get her take, but then I realized it probably just meant amphitheater. Duh.

Barry's first job out of high school was helping to build this thing.

Reading the first clue allowed for another TAR-favorite -- watching each team mangle the name of the destination. This week’s impossible-to-pronounce word: Catania. Granted, it’s a little trickier than Palermo, but there was no excusing the verbal butchery that ensued. Catalina, Ca-TAY-nia, Cateena, Cat-a-NIA, Cat and Nia! That last one sounds like a bad PBS educational cartoon about a girl and her beloved kitty cat, who travel the world and learn about other cultures and languages. If only there was such a show, and if only these dumbasses had watched it.

The incredible adventures of Cat and her zany lesbian friend, Nia!

Those zany hippies played their first prank of the episode at the antiteatro, which surprisingly, did not involve spazzing around like epileptic monkeys, and was actually very funny. They created an “official team sign-in sheet” and pasted it on the gate, which was closed until the morning. The dumb, hot, and not-gay fratboys arrived soon after, and pondered the official-ness of the magic marker-made document taped sideways to the gate in front of them. “This looks kind of ghetto,” one of the sexy not-gay bitches remarked. Instantly, Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia popped out of the bushes and stabbed whitey with her cell-phone. “How dare you, a male, white, valet, use the word ghetto in the presence of me, a female, black Congresswoman?!?,” the Honorable Cynthia McKinney shouted. “That is racialist!” Ok, that didn’t really happen. I sooooo wish Cynthia McKinney was on TAR, though. She’d make it so much more exciting. And make Marion Paolo her partner. “Enough with the racialism, okay? Will you just COOL IT??”

Best Amazing Race pair ever

Where was I? Oh yeah. Super-sleuths Eric and Jeremy soon figured out the sign was just a joke. “Do you think those guys just made it up?” See, they aren’t dumb! Yay, boys!

Eventually, the gate to the black-hole teatro was opened and all matter outside it was immediately sucked in and instantly became nothingness. Or the opposite of nothingness. Somethingness? Ask Monica, I’m not sure. No, really, the gates opened and the teams were presented with their first task du jour – counting little heads on a gate. Sounds easy? Well, there were a whopping FORTY-ONE of them!! Yeah, it was totally easy. But it wasn’t a detour or a roadblock, so no big whoop.

So all of the teams did the counting-to-41 challenge rather effortlessly. Even Lake & Michelle did it on the first try. Impressive. Though the third-best moment of the episode occurred when they found some random guy who they assumed was the “groundskeeper” and ran up to him and asked “Is it 41?” And he said “yeah!” and high-fived them. Awesome, gottdangit!

Fran & Barry had little trouble with this one too, although finding the groundskeeper proved a little tricky for them, too. “It says groundskeeper, so he must be on the grounds,” Barry surmised. Way to go, mummies! While searching the grounds, Fran kept bellowing “Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello!” It reminded me of when I’m on the phone with my Aunt Ida and her hearing aid falls out. My Aunt Ida is 107, so add about 15 years and that’s what Fran sounded like.

So yeah, after everyone finished the head counting it was off to the Detour: Big Fish or Little Fish. Big Fish involved carrying a big fish, and little fish involved selling lots of little fish. Aren’t you glad I clarified that?

Since selling little fish on the streets of Sicily sounds like it could be kind of hard, all of the teams opted for Big Fish, except for Fran & Barry. Gramma and Grampa didn’t have too tough a time though. I mean, who wouldn’t buy pesce fresco from a couple of 137-year old Americans with a TV crew filming them? I would, and I don’t even eat fish!

EEEEEEKKKK! It's Dana the man-troll from Big Brother 4!

The other task was pretty cool, but after personally hauling a 50-lb side of raw beef, and watching a midget little person do it too, the 32-pound swordfish didn’t seem THAT bad. Although at least the beef didn’t barf up dead-fish-bile on our shoulders while we carried it. That’s pretty nasty.

The dead-fish-carrying was pretty gross, but most of the teams handled it in stride. Except for Monica and Joseph. For them, Big Fish was the worst thing ever – leading to the second-best moment of the episode: a sobbing, stinky, mascara-smeared Monica having a total meltdown on the streets of Sicily as they couldn’t find the right dude to hand the fish too. “JOOOOSEEEEEEEEEEPH,” she screamed like a crazed, smelly homeless model/quantum physicist, as she dropped the big, dead swordfish on the ground. “I can’t carry it anymore!” But trooper that she is, she picked the slimy corpse up and trudged forth through the mean streets of Sicily, as a bunch of obnoxious locals looked at them. “I’m going to stab one of these locals through the head,” Joseph said before they finally found the fishmonger (incidentally, it was my other favorite reality-TV midget, Lydia, from Survivor: Guatemala! Who knew she lived in Sicily?). Yeah, how dare those freakin’ locals look at us while we ran through the streets, screaming in English, stinking of fish bile-barf, covered in smeared mascara, carrying 32-pound swordfish corpses around while a reality-TV crew filmed them? What assholes!

“This is the worst thing ever,” Monica sighed. No, the worst thing ever was when Reichen had to eat the live octopus in Korea and its undead tentacles were literally crawling back his throat while he tried to swallow them. The worst thing ever was when Freddy puked up the very spicy soup and then had to eat very spicy-barfy soup. You’re just carrying a damn fish. Shut up. Don’t make me get all Cynthia McKinney on your ass.

Um, honey? You dropped something.

With the bad fish memories behind them, all of the teams were off to some other quaint, unmemorable Sicilian town for the roadblock, which involved scoring a goal against a professional Italian kayak polo team. Oh wow, that seems hard! I mean, they’re professionals. Only thing was, they didn’t FREAKIN’ DO ANYTHING! Seriously, the professional kayakers just floated there in the water and watched, perhaps occasionally limply lifting an oar in a fake attempt to block a shot. God, what a stupid roadblock. Even Barry had little trouble with it. So, of course, it did nothing to affect the order.

Lake’s choice of attire while watching his Missus do the kayak thing was amusing, however.

I think this was actually the look he was going for.

So blah blah blah, I was so bored during this part that I dozed off a bit, but I woke up after Lake & Michelle read the next clue: Make your way on foot…. “ON FOOT!!!!!!!” Dr. ADHD screamed. God, this dude is annoying. In my head, every time he talks I imagine this cross between Jon Stewart’s impression of President Bush and Cletus, the slack-jawed yokel from the Simpsons. And that hybrid character just drank like 11 cups of espresso. And did a line of meth.

So yeah, the teams made their way ON FOOT!!!!!!! to the Pitstop, Blahblahblah, Sicily. For some inexplicable reason, there was a band playing, too. Weird. But the irresistible, groovy tunes of that band led to the absolute best moment of this completely crappy episode, and made the 5 TrimSpa I took to stay awake through (most of) the damn thing worthwhile: PHIL DANCING. Oh my god. It was the zaniest thing I have ever seen, and even sexier than Eric in his speedo or Dr. Leather Daddy, DDS.

Phil, booty shakin’

Now that the Phil has danced, what’s left of the stoic, uber-serious, passively dismissive and vaguely condescending persona? The only thing more earth-shattering would be if Julie Chen did a topless cartwheel during a live episode of Big Brother. Think about it, Julie – imagine the cash you could make with a “Big Brother: Too Hot For TV” DVD.

Ok, so (very) long story short, the order barely changed – The frat boys were first, the hippies were second, MoJo was third, the mummies were fourth, the lady and her dentist were fifth, and YoRay were sixth. Last place went to the geekazoids (or fatazoids or sweatazoids or ILoveYouazoids), and tragically, they were eliminated. Yep, back to The Hut for you, Lori. You’ll be assisting the management of my stuffed crust with black olives next week, babe.

Oh, I almost forgot – terrific news for Eric and Jeremy!! As winners of this leg of the race, they won a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s new Freedom of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship! Yay, guys! Maybe you should sign up for this sailing! I mean, I know you’re not gay or anything. But you don’t have to be gay to go on a gay cruise! You could have so much fun at the legendary T-dances and nighttime parties! I mean, I’m going, and I’m a straight woman from Palmdale, California. See you in January, boys! And please wear these:


So next week it’s on to Greece or something. Anywhere but Sicily, please. Somewhere you gotta git on the flyin’ bus to git to. And there’s going to be some sort of semi-nude wrestling involved. Sounds fun!

So what did all of you think of this episode?

Posted by Linda Ruiz in Recap corner on April 8, 2006 12:35 PM


The episode sucked, but this recap almost made up for it! I wish they would get out of Europe, this is unfortunately starting to feel like a budget-season...

Posted by: basudin at April 8, 2006 4:48 PM

This episode blew major chunks...the recap suffered a little too...or maybe you've just set an impossibly high standard with last week's and nothing holds a candle to it.

Either way, Phil dancing was hilarious. Fran and Barry annoy the hell out of me. And I want to see the 4 gay's drop out of the top 2.

Posted by: Andrew at April 8, 2006 5:59 PM