April 8, 2006

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Fish

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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??”

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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 at 12:35 PM | Category: Recap corner | Comments (2)

April 1, 2006

Palermo-Palooza!

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This week the race resumed, sans the spicy Latinas, in Munich, Germany. The girl-girl teams (Wanda and Desiree, the Glamazons, John and Scott) haven’t been having much luck thus far. And with the Double D’s in a distant last place, things are looking bleak for a first-ever all-female Amazing Race victory. If only Karen could have pulled herself her big ass up that cliff, we might have a woman president by now. I will never forgive you, Karen. Neither will Carol Moseley-Braun.

Eric and Jeremy were out of the gate first at 2:15 am. I love these guys. And not just because they’re sexy bitches. They’re actually the most entertaining team on the race this season. I wouldn’t have guessed that they’d be so funny when I first saw their profile on the official CBS website. Speaking of the team profiles, I want to pat myself on the back for the completely made up but almost entirely accurate predictions I made before the season even began. I think I’m psychic, at least when I’m drunk.

Anyway, it’s off to Palermo, Italy! Or Palomo (Eric & Jeremy). Or Paylerrmo (Lake). Or Paaaaalermo (Monica, and probably Sheaaaaron Godlewski, too). Or Palomino (Joseph). Or Pa…… ler…… mo (Fran & Barry). Actually the mummies pronounced it correctly, they’re just physically incapable of uttering more than one syllable per second. Come on you dumb turds, haven’t any of you ever heard of Palermo before? If only Bolo had been there, you know he would have screamed, “fly to Papa Gino’s, Italy!”

So off everyone went to the airport to make flight arrangements for the 850-mile journey to Palindrome! Or Paleontology! Or Palau! Oh my god, wouldn’t it have been awesome if Joseph and Monica had flown to Palau by mistake? I bet Stephenie LaGrossa is still wandering around there somewhere, waiting for Survivor 16 to begin filming.

As I was saying (like 5 paragraphs earlier when I started this recap… no wonder these things take me forever to write), Eric and Jeremy were off first, and had quite a lead. Of course, a lead at 2:15 am when your first destination is an airport is basically meaningless, so of course the other teams caught up. And what does one do when stuck at the airport in Munich in the middle of the night? Wheelchair races, of course!

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Either Eric fell or he is being butt-raped by a wheelchair. I can't tell.

Eric wins the gold medal in the wheelchair slalom at the Munich International Airport Special Olympics!!

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Whats better than winning a gold medal in the Special Olympics?
Not being a cripple.

While the frat boys and the hippies were having a jolly old time, Lake and Michelle weren’t having none of that. Oh no. “I ain’t racin’ in no doggone cripple-chair, I tell-ya-what” exclaimed Lake as they decided to go use something called “the Internet” to help them find a faster flight. Now, I’m not all tech-savvy so I’m not quite sure what this “Internet” thing is all about, but Lake is a doctor (well, dentist, technically, but close enough), so he must know lots of things us regular folk don’t.

“I’ll do the clicker and you do the typer,” he told Michelle. Seriously. I couldn’t have made up something more dumb-country-hick sounding if I thought about it all night. The gottdang clicker and the doggone typer!! Woooooeee! Then we’s gunna ride us on a flyin’ bus, Michelle! A flyin’ bus from the Internet!

Well, that plan failed spectacularly as Dr. Lake (like the ocean) soon remembered that he "couldn't do the Internet." You know, I never really truly understood who the target audience for Video Professor (“learn the computer!”) was, until I saw this guy. (P.S. Dr. Video Professor, Ph.D. actually trademarked, "Try My Product!" Seriously, look at the link!)

On the way to the airport, Monica explained her strategy for the race to us (in between sqealing and mispronouncing Palermo like 4 times): "I'll use the dumb blond and the ditz to my advantage, because I'm not stupid." Oooh, good idea honey! Only problem is, you're even more retarded than John and Scott look in their profile picture. Please girl, you're no Janelle Pierzina (the number one lady of reality TV.)

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Monica contemplates how to reconcile the black hole information paradox with the laws of quantum physics.

All of the teams made their travel arrangements to Plomorino (that’s not even a real word – I forgot where they’re really going anymore), and the resulting combination of flights and connections and stand-bys and mixups totally confused me. I’m also feeling kind of dizzy. You probably shouldn’t mix bird flu medicine with vodka, but hey, life is short. Anyway, go to www.cbs.com if you want to understand it – they have an entirely accurate, literal, unsarcastic, snark-free “episode summary” that explains all that boring stuff, and will also put you to sleep. (Plus they have a "blog" with commentary from former racers. Geez, get a life, guys!) The point is, BJ and Tyler got there way ahead of everyone, and the rest of the teams were on two other flights about a half hour apart.

But before they left, there was drama at the airport! Oh yes! When kind and gentle Dr. Lake approached Fran to ask her a simple question, she told him to BACK AWAY! Oh no she didn’t! Yes, Mrs. Mummy actually said, “Please step back. Just step back!” My gosh, that was uncalled for. She treated him like he was some sort of hyper-aggressive, woman-abuser or something. Hmm, I’m starting to like you, sassy mummy-lady. Even better was that the oldies were getting on an earlier connection than Dr. Fudd and his wife, but they had no idea. Oh awesome. I can’t wait to hear the insane gat-dog-dang-it gibberish that will most certainly ensue when he finds out. Watch out Michelle. You know it’s ALL YOUR FAULT.

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Fran, about to open up a can of whoop-ass.

Fast forward to Palermo, and the three teams arriving last are Dr. Turd & wifey, Ray and Yolanda, and the D’s. But we saw in last week’s preview that Mrs. Nerd (I need better names… can someone help?) had a total meltdown at the roadblock, so who knows what might happen. The teams had to make their way to the Teatro something-or-other, but the stick shift was proving to be a major challenge for the ladies from New York. Déjà vu – I’m probably the only one who even remembers Meredith and Maria from Queens. They only lasted two episodes until the “drive a car” challenge did them in. There’s something exceptionally entertaining about watching people freak out when they can’t figure out how to drive a car, though – I was cracking up (in my hospital bed, while in a coma, of course... cough... gobble gobble... cough) while watching the Glamazon-car-meltdown. At least Joni didn’t say “you were supposed to do the shift-er and I was supposed to do the turn-er!”

Once in Palermo, the teams were faced with this week’s detour: Foundry or Laundry. I’m not exactly sure what a foundry is, but I think it has something to do with a giant bell, because the task involved carrying a giant bell. A 110-pound bell, to be exact, which coincidentally is also the exact weight of each of Ray’s buttcheeks.

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Baby got back!

Most of the teams opted for the other option, laundry, since the bell thing was literally impossible unless you had He-Man Ray or Joseph on your team. Mmmm, you boys can carry my bell anytime! Or ring my bell? Which is sexier? How about spank my bell? Yeah, I like that.

The laundry task involved searching through lots of laundry that was hanging on a bunch of old-school alley clotheslines for little clues hidden inside the clothes. BJ and Tyler arrived first, since they were like 3 hours ahead. And I’m sure all of you noticed their choice of t-shirts. I sure did!

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But really now, the lettering is way too small, and it just doesn’t look right without boobs. Here’s what it’s supposed to look like:

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Nice try, though, boys!

So back to the laundry fun, the hippies, fratboys and mummies all had a relatively easy time. Geekazoids (who I do actually like), Lori and Dave, did not. Cue breakdown #1. Lori starts semi-freaking out and the perfectly-love-dovey-geeky-fatty couple starts getting snippy with each other. Uh oh, trouble in dweebadise? In fact, the laundry challenge takes them so long that the last two teams, Dr. & Mrs. Clicker-Typer and the pinkies, both arrive on the scene and it’s a Sicilian clothesline free-for-all.

Fortunately for Lori and Dave, they found a clue, narrowly escaping a full geekazoid-meltdown (for now). Now it’s just turds vs. boobs, and as Toni Ferrari superstar reality diva Toni Ferrari (I’m pretty sure that’s either her John Travolta in drag) would say, “IT’S ON!!!” Well much to my chagrin, the turds found it first. But, boobs found one too, and only moments later! They’re (at least according to the editing) still in it!!

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Laundry Lady: Run boobies, run!!

So off to the detour everyone went. But wait! CAUTION, YIELD AHEAD!! Oh noooooooooo!! Will anyone actually use it? And will the producers actually have a Yield in an elimination leg for a change?

Somehow, Ray and Yolanda managed to get completely lost and take about 27 wrong turns, and completely wasted all of the time they made up after Hercules-Ray spanked my bell. I mean completed the detour. So Dr. and Mrs. Yokel arrived at the Yield ahead of BOTH Dani & Danielle and Ray & Yolanda. Yet, they chose to Yield the D’s anyway, a choice I did not comprehend. Arriving second-to-last, Danielle and Dani immediately freaked out when they saw that they had been Yielded and launched into a teary-eyed, Staten Island-esque, anti-Southern hick tirade. (Sometimes I amaze myself with how many adjectives I can cram into one sentence). “They’re hicks from the South and they’re jerkoffs,” said Dani, so eloquently. Yes, they may be jerkoffs, but they’re the only thing close to “villains” this season. And without any villains, what the hell would I write about? I’d have to resort to making Weaver jokes again.

The roadblock this week seemed relatively simple: assemble a statue-puzzle of a naked Greek dude. While Eric was working on assembling the naked man, Jeremy offered to take off his shirt to help him out. Unfortunately, he didn’t actually do it. But really, it wasn’t necessary, since he posted shirtless pictures of himself on something called “the Internet” for the whole world (except for Lake) to see:

Everything you ever wanted to know about Jeremy.

The trick, of course to this puzzle was that there were two extra, useless pieces. That kind of confused most of the teams at first, but boy did it throw Lori off. I mean, I thought she might have some trouble with the statue, since she’s used to seeing naked male bodies that are enormous, round and sweaty, rather than normal-shaped. But, in fact, it was the extra pieces that pushed her over the edge. “IT DOESN’T FIT” she screamed in such a total-geekmonster-freakout way that it totally reminded Dave of the first time they tried to have sex. Of course, that was because he was using.…. No wait, that joke is way over the line. Censor yourself, Linda. You don’t need the FCC all over this blog.

Anyway, you would think with all of the stress Lori experiences on a day-to-day basis at her job (she is an Assistant Manager at Pizza Hut, after all), she’d know how to pull it together. Finally, after assembling and disassembling the naked dude like 3 times, Lori finally realized that there might just be two extra pieces. Yay, Lori! I like them, I was actually sad to see her cry. No, not really. I love when people cry and scream in despair. What’s wrong with me? And I really enjoyed Phil’s subtle “you’re so goddamn fat” dis when he said something about “giving them a workout” when they arrived at the pit stop. I love you, Phil.

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Prelude to a cheesy bites breakdown.

After yielding the pinkies, Lake seemed WAY too excited to be assembling the naked dude. I mean, he always seems way too excited, but this was like WAY over the edge. YEAH!!!!! He kept screaming, blabbering something about taking anatomy class and being a dentist. Um, it’s just a friggin’ human body you jerkoff-hick. Everyone has one, you don’t have some special advantage because you took an anatomy class. The only difference is, on most guys, the thing under that leaf is actually visible without a microscope.

Anyway, Dr. & Mrs. Micropenis did finish the roadblock rather quickly, and it was down to just Ray and Yo vs. D and D. Yolanda worked quickly, while Dani struggled, and despite an editing fakeout that made us think that they might still be neck-and-neck, I think the big butts pretty much whooped the big boobs. And for a change, the Yield actually eliminated someone.

So, once again, any hope of an all-female victory is gone. Such a sad day for all of the women of TAR, and all of the women in the world, really. Dag-nabbit Karen, you ruined everything! I bet if there was a cheeseburger on top of that damn cliff we’d be millionaires now. Oh well.

So who do I root for now? I think Eric and Jeremy, despite their super-cheezy Myspace profiles. I like them. Or maybe the geekazoids. They’re kind of awesome, too, even though Dave’s face-sweat makes me barf. What do all of you think? Who are you rooting for?

P.S. Don't forget that next week, THE AMAZING RACE moves to it's new time slot on Wednesdays at 8:00 pm EST!!!

Posted by Linda Ruiz at 2:31 PM | Category: Recap corner | Comments (3)

March 31, 2006

Catching up is hard to do

As some of you may have noticed, I have not posted anything on Just Us Moms! in almost two months. It was heartwarming to read all of our loyal readers messages of concern (actually, the gist of the emails was more like, “why haven’t you been posting recaps ON TIME, you lazy bitches??!?” But I’ll pretend you were all just worried about me).

The truth is… I had bird flu. It’s true. Seriously, don’t ever have the popcorn chicken at the Bangkok KFC. It may be yummy, but trust me, you dont want these little buggers inhabiting you for two months. Anyway, I have, for the most part, recovered, but don’t you feel BAD for scolding me about the timeliness of our recaps now?? Hmmm? How heartless are you? Bastards.

Anywho, Karen has been doing her best to write the recaps solo while I was in intensive care, but now we’re two whole episodes behind. So what to do? Well, since episode 4 was on almost a week and a half ago, I’m pretty sure none of you even give a creaaaaap (Big ups to my Godlewski gals! Your season may have sucked, but I still love you) about reading a recap anymore, so I’ll sum it up with the shortest recap ever, after the jump!

You’re still racing!

Oh shoot!

Off to Germany!

WALL OF DEATH! (Don’t you wish the Weavers had to do THAT one?)
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Gnomes!
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Horrendously obnoxious product placement!

More roadblocks featuring dancers in ethnic garb!

Smashing bottles!

Mummies dancing!
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Wanda and Desiree eliminated!
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Aww….

Yeah, that was totally lame. Sorry. A REAL RECAP of this week's (hopefully it’s still “this week” by the time I finish the damn thing) episode is coming soon, I promise!! And now that the bird flu has subsided and I am more "regular," you can expect the recaps to be, too!

Posted by Linda Ruiz at 11:24 AM | Category: Recap corner | Comments (1)

March 15, 2006

The end is nowhere in sight!

Well last night was certainly exciting, wasn't it? But not nearly as exciting as whatever that zero-gravity, driving really fast around the racetrack up-on-the-walls thing is that happens next week. Wow.

The contestants had to leave Brazil with a grand exit, jumping a zip line that showed them a beautiful view of Brotas, Brazil, right before reading the clue that tells them they have to travel over 7000 miles to freezing cold RUSSIA!

lakehood.jpgIt was then an auto race to the bus station, where they would take a charter bus to Brotas and then onto the Sao Paolo airport. Unfortunately for Lake and Michelle, "SHUT UP" got in the way of their teamwork and they became lost on the way to the bus station. Parked in a corn field, Lake stood on the hood of his car, trying to see the right direction. Michelle told him to get down because he was denting the roof of the car. Rather than admit he was wrong, Brock told Michelle not "get ugly" with him, and fumed along in silence. Poor Michelle, if only she had competed with her sister or her kid or something.

It was a long flight to Russia, and when they arrived, language was a major problem, as apparently few people in Moscow speak English! Fortunately Wanda was able to communicate by telling her cab driver to open "el trunk," which he understood perfectly.

The Hippies arrived first at the Roadblock, which involved taking off all your clothes and standing in the freezing cold so that the teams would truly appreciate the climate change from Brazil. Then, once they were in little bathing suits (oo la la... Lake looked almost good enough to counteract his bad personality), they had to climb up onto a ten meter high diving board and jump into a warm swimming pool in front of a bunch of jeering Russian Olympic swimmers.

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Eric: "Yolanda hurry up! My nipple ring is stuck to my side and it hurts!"

wandadrown.jpgThe diving challenge was going smoothly, with mostly the weaker team members choosing to do it, since it was more about guts than stamina. However, Mom Wanda ran into big problems because of her "fear of deep water." This was probably not the Roadblock for her, since she didn't "know how to dive down." Daughter Desiree, to her credit, was very encouraging, and Wanda eventually overcame her fear with the emotional support of Desiree and lots of tall buff Russian men.

Next came a Detour that seemed an awful lot like a Roadblock. The teams had to choose between washing buses and searching through hundreds of Russian dolls for a microscopic clue. But the dolls were not alone. There was also a traditional Russian orchestra playing dance music for a group of dancers that circled around the searching teams, veering close enough to brush them with brightly colored scarves. I think Linda would have lost her cool!

Obviously most of the teams went for the bus washing, however, there was one problem: No cab driver in all of Moscow knew where the bus depot was, meaning many teams switched Detours at the last minute. Linda and I suspect that the producers chose a difficult-to-find bus station because they had paid the wonderful Russian band and dancers to perform and needed some teams to show up for the doll challenge. That reminds me of the Bata Shoe Museum challenge in Toronto at the end of last season. All those models don't work for free!

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Yolanda searches the Russian dolls and wonders why the traditional Russian dancers don't wear more Spandex.

With some teams still washing buses and poor Fran and Barry still searching through all those dolls, Eric and Jeremy were the first to arrive at what they thought was the pitstop, only to have Phil tell them that the leg wasn't over. Oh the suspense of a "To Be Continued..." I could be wrong, but I think this is the earliest extended leg in the history of The Amazing Race. It's pretty expensive to keep all the teams around that long, but the suspense is worth it. We are on the edge of our seats... How are the rest of you holding up?

Posted by Karen Heins at 12:02 PM | Category: Recap corner | Comments (5)

March 8, 2006

Farewell tall ladies

Hey everybody! Since Linda's TiVo is broken, I'm going to write the recap this week, but I'm afraid I won't have all her hilarious screen caps, so just bear with me.

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"Lisa, ah just peed mah paaaants. No, ah reeealy deeeud."

First I want to say how excited I am about this season of The Amazing Race! The first two episodes have been thrilling, making the contestants first traverse a huge, traffic-choked city and then dive directly into the wilderness. And next week they will have their first mind-numbing equalizer roadblock that involves searching through hundreds of Russian nesting dolls! I can't wait for that one. Perhaps they will also have to eat some very spicy Russian soup as well.

But back to last night's episode!

It was a very physical day for all the teams, leaving most of them more exhausted than Fran's brain after trying to put together that motorcyle for hours last week. Some teams took a slightly easier road at the Detour by distilling ethanol from sugar cane using traditional scientific devices. Of course self-proclaimed "Nerds In Love" David and Lori got a real charge out of that challenge, with David even remarking that he did that exact experiment in science class. These two have tickled me since the beginning... It's nice to see young people so unafraid of professing their feelings for one another. It's almost as heartwarming as hearing hippies BJ and Tyler say "hot dog" every two seconds.

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"Oh David, this reminds me of how we met! Except the crank was a little smaller and we were in Kansas..."

The only other teams to refine the sugar cane were mother/daughter team Wanda and Desiree and the "Glamazons" (my personal favorites!) Lisa and Joni. Both the Nerds and the mother/daughter finished well, but somehow the Glamazons fell behind. They had major car trouble and navigational problems, and I think that contributed to their falling into last place. At least Joni didn't pee herself this week like she did last episode after disembarking from the helicopter in Sao Paolo.

Even if the science experiment put the two glamorous ladies into last place, it was probably a wise choice judging by the physical challenge, which was basically a repeat of the challenge where I lost the Race for Linda and myself in Season 5. It involved scaling a cliff using a device called an "ascender," which requires both upper and lower body strength, plus a good deal of coordination and stamina. I actually couldn't bear to watch parts of it, especially when Senior Fran was struggling with the technique and it looked like her leg might pop right off. I had to stare down into my Cherry Coke and force back tears. If only...

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Come on Karen!!! CLIMB!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!! CLIMB!!!!!!!! Oh, shoot.

Fran did eventually make it to the top of the cliff (just like I did!) and her husband Barry didn't exactly sprint up after her. They were both worried about being eliminated, and I was too, having grown to like both of them over the last two weeks. However, somehow the Glamazons managed to finish after them and were eliminated. It will always remain a mystery to me exactly how they managed to be so slow, but at least they finished ahead of the annoying gays last week. I did enjoy hearing John standing in the streets of Sao Paolo manically yelling "No one wants to help us!!" But only for one episode.

As for Lisa and Joni, I am sorry to see the only all-older-lady team go. I guess Linda and I will have to pin our hopes on either Wanda and Desiree, who are great competitors and also speak Spanish, which is a big help; or on Dani and Dani, who wear matching outfits, and that is perhaps the truest way to our hearts. However, those two need to watch it and try not to act like huge skanks or they may lose our endorsement.

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"Evuh since ah first saw theeus show, ah wanted to do theeus." Poor Lisa... at least you didn't go out trying to scale an impossibly tall sheer face of rock with your disappointed partner looking on.

Posted by Karen Heins at 11:14 AM | Category: Recap corner | Comments (1)