Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Amazing Race update: The prayers of a million “TAR” fans come true

All the teams are up in the dead of night to rip open the first route marker: travel from Corsica to Nice, France by ferry. Before you can scream “bunching again?!?” the teams are bunched up waiting for the 11:30am ferry. Hayden and Aaron, who came in last on the non-elimination leg in the previous show have no money and are reduced to begging the locals for lucre. It looks like they do OK due in no small part to Hayden’s miniscule tank top. All teams arrive in Nice and take various different flights to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

From the international airport, teams take two charter planes to a small African village and the Detour: Raise the Roof or Mud the Hut. Hayden & Aaron (all caught up), Kris & Jon, and Adam & Rebecca carry and install a roof to a hut with little difficulty while Lori & Bolo, Freddy & Kendra and Jonathan & Victoria slap mud onto the side of a hut wall. Everything is going fine until Victoria cuts her hand on something in the mud. Once again, everything that has made Jonathan one of the most loathsome persons ever to be pixilated by a television camera rises to the surface. His wife is screaming and he’s continuing to slap mud while simply saying “Mind over matter, Victoria.” Once more into the heart of darkness.

After the Detour, teams must take two (2) donkeys and walk the pair of donkeys three miles to the Church of Saint George, which is carved into the earth (eye-poppingly magnificent, BTW). At the Church they must hand off the TWO donkeys and continue to the Roadblock which asks the question: “Who has an eye for detail?”

Did I mention the teams must take two donkeys and that it’s three miles from the Detour to the Roadblock? Good. (Foreshadowing! Foreshadowing!)

At the Roadblock, one team member must take a pendant from a priest within the church and then search among worshippers outside the church for a matching pendant. Once they choose the correct worshipper, they receive the next clue. Hayden and Aaron found the smoothest road to the church and finish quickly. The clue directs them to the Pit Stop which is an overlook outside the Ethiopian village; in a fantastic comeback, Team Actors are Team #1. With a minimum of sniping, Team Wrestling arrives as Team #2 and Team Mellow come in as Team #3.

Back at the church, a miracle occurs. Better than the parting of the Red Sea. Better than water into wine. Surely the hand of the Almighty has taken pity on Amazing Race fans and set in motion the demise of the most hated team in reality TV history. Praise the Lord! Team Dysfunctional arrived at the church with only one donkey!

But wait! Here comes Satan! He’s not going to give up on his favorite team! The spirit of Lucifer enters Team Androgynous and some strange evil takes hold. At Jonathan’s request, Adam & Rebecca decide to YIELD Freddy & Kendra! WTF!!! Now Team Models must wait before they’re allowed to perform the Roadblock. Why? Why? Why did they do that? Because Jonathan asked them to? A vein starts throbbing in my head.

Like a duck hit on the head, the confused Adam heads away from the church while a ticked off Freddy & Kendra stare at an hourglass and Team Dysfunctional hustles back three miles to get another donkey. The sand runs down on the hourglass and a majorly-pissed Kendra asks Rebecca why she yielded them. Rebecca mumbles something about “so many questions.” Then she sees Adam finally returning to the church and deadpans to the camera: “Never send a woman to do a man’s job” which was either a malapropism or (more likely) another jab at Adam’s lack of testosterone.

Despite the time handicap, Freddy finds the pendant and they book to the Pit Stop as Team #4. It looks like Adam finds it soon afterward but “TAR” editors are always playing with the time compression so it’s hard to tell. In any case, in a subsequent scene we see Victoria searching among the worshippers, obviously alone and despondent.

The Pit Stop is only a mile away and teams have thus far finished in the order they completed the Roadblock. I’m thinking: Team Androgynous must be ahead of Team Dysfunctional, right? Right? They wouldn’t go into a valley to find a “lookout,” right?

Here it comes: the violins soar, the camera shakes with the perspective of a running team, and we see Team #5. It’s Adam and Rebecca! Why, that means…no, they wouldn’t have back-to-back non-elimination legs. No, no, no.

Jonathan and Victoria arrive at the mat with a dozen Ethiopians in tow, knowing that they’re the final team and Phil declares: “You’re the last team to arrive.” Say it, Phil, say it! “And I’m sorry to tell you, you’ve both been eliminated from the race.”

And across the Amazing Race Nation, there was much rejoicing. Amen.

Final results:
1. Team Actors – Hayden & Aaron
2. Team Wrestling – Lori & Bolo
3. Team Mellow – Kris & Jon
4. Team Models – Freddy & Kendra
5. Team Androgynous – Adam & Rebecca
6. Team Dysfunctional – Jonathan & Victoria - ELIMINATED

More at the Amazing Race home page. And here’s my favorite quote so far from the Television without Pity TAR6 forum: “The first 58 minutes could have been a blank screen and this episode still gets an A+ ” Yes.


Wendy said...

I think you got it wrong. Victoria had two asses, but the farmer didn't want the one that was a wife beater. So they had to go back and find one that was more of a donkey and less of an ass.

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