Sunday, September 17, 2006

Amazing Race 10 season premiere – And they’re off!

The brand new season of the Amazing Race starts out in Seattle and twelve teams of two are on the run to the first destination: Beijing, China. There’s the usual mix of pretty people (beauty queens, male models, cheerleaders) along with the requisite gay couple, the bickering couple, and the “Flyover” couple (described as “Coalminer and Wife”). The special teams include the Muslim team, the triathlon couple with one artificial limb, the Indian couple and the Korean brothers. No oldsters this season.

All teams start out in a phalanx of SUVs heading for the airport. It’s the usual mad rush, interrupted by traffic and airport confusion. At the check-in line, one of the Muslim guys refuses to shake the hand of one of the cheerleaders (with a smile, though). The brothers squirt other teams with water pistols, which are promptly confiscated by security – stupid! The tri-athlete woman with the artificial leg gets on pre-boarding due to her “handicap.”

Once in Beijing, teams must find the Gold House restaurant for the first clue. It’s a Roadblock and the first eating challenge: one team member must eat a bowl of fish eyes. The best friends from Alabama finish first and must head to the Meridian Gate at the Forbidden City where they must pick departure times for the following day. We’re warned about a “twist” in the Race. Later, it’s revealed that one of the departure times simply reads “Last Team.” Unfortunately for Team Mecca, they are the last to arrive and suddenly there’s Phil with a TAR mat. All the other teams watch on as – quite suddenly – Bilal &Sa’eed are eliminated from the Race.

Ouch. We’ve been robbed of a dozen episodes of culture clash and I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing.

The next morning, teams must travel in the sidecars of motor bikes to a taxi stand. There it’s a Detour: Labor or Leisure. Teams travel by pedal-rickshaw and they must either put together sidewalk blocks in a particular pattern, or perform a kind of Tai Chi-type exercise sequence. Everybody chooses the bricklaying except for the cheerleaders and Team Spike, who decide to dance with a racket and ping-pong ball. The pretty boys in Team Rehab finish bricks first and head to the Pit Stop at Juyonguang at the Great Wall.

At the Great Wall, the teams must scale the wall to reach the Pit Stop. This is no problem for Tyler & James but one-legged Sarah unsurprisingly has some trouble. Eventually, she figures out how to use her good leg and get up the 20-ft. wall. Meanwhile, Team Alabama simply can’t get five feet off the ground. Back at the Detour, Kimberly jumps into a taxi and tells the driver “Great Wall of China” which strikes me as funny. Team India is the last to leave the Detour.

Back at the Great Wall – the one in China – the cheerleaders and the brothers whip up the wall while other teams are moving more methodically. All the teams except Team India are now at the wall and it’s pretty obvious that unless somebody falls they’re going to be eliminated. Mary of Team 16 Tons is the last to climb up and she’s already weeping as she steps onto the mat since she assumes (seeing no other teams behind her) that they’re history. Not so and Phil announces they are team #10. Team India finally arrives, scales the wall, and is eliminated.

Final standings

#1 - Team Rehab – Tyler & James - $20,000 prize
#2 - Team Daughter – Duke & Lauren
#3 - Team Leg Up – Peter & Sarah
#4 - Team Blonde – Dustin & Kandace
#5 - Team Couple – Rob & Kimberly
#6 - Team Rah-Rah – Kellie & Jamie
#7 - Team Ergo – Erwin & Godwin
#8 - Team Spike – Tom & Terry
#9 - Team Alabama – Lyn & Karlyn
#10 - Team 16 Tons – David & Mary
#11 - Team India – Vipul & Arti – PHILIMINATED (2nd leg)
#12 - Team Mecca – Bilal & Sa’eed – PHILIMINATED (1st leg)

Next week – Looks like Mongolia and some serious runaway animals.

Extra – Kris is back on the job! Read her review: “Where’s your Allah now?” If I must pick a team right now, it would be Kellie & Jamie just because I have a thing for cheerleaders.


James said...

"team ergo"

what a great nickname

Pat said...

I've got my post up as well, Eric. I'm confident that Team Allah was intended to teach us surprising lesson about Muslims; as it was about the only surprise was that they live in Cleveland. Looks like Team Disappointed in My Lesbian Daughter will have to furnish the PC lessons this season.

Robert The Bruce said...

I must say, just slightly disappointed in the "twist." Eliminating two teams on the premiere was not nice. Team "Mecca," (like the name) would have been interesting to follow, especially if there were overzealous security guys in the airports. I also had a soft spot for team "Karma" (Vipul of the people and Arti.)

Nice nicknames, for the most part. I'd have gone with Duke&Dyke, but that's probably not very pc. Team Pom-Pons for the cheerleaders, Team BamaMamas for the single mothers, Team Vee-Hickles for Kentucky Coal miners, and how you got Spike for the New York Twinkletoes I do not understand.

Eric said...

Unfortunately, nicknames are made up on the spot, hence the creative "Team Couple." Team Spike was made up as the companion to Tom & Jerry, er, Terry.