Look -- beautiful snowy peaks! And wide open spaces! And a rabbit! Hey, where are we? Well, we're in Denver, Colorado, silly. Nestled at the base of the majestic Rocky Mountains. Ooh. Aaah.
No, it's not a documentary about the best America has to offer. It's the return of
"The Amazing Race," a reality show about the worst America has to offer, and all the ways we can inflict it on the rest of the planet! YAAAAY! And look, there's Phil! Hi, Phil! DOUBLE YAY!
Amazing Race, you're back, you're back
And no fucking families (eees)
I once was sad, but now, I'm glad
I'll watch and eat some cheese.
Wasn't that good? Aren't you excited? Do you want to talk about it some more, or do you want to get on with it and see who these asshats are, and find out how many of them really, really like to call each other
Oh. Well, fine then, let's just go already.
Here are the teams:
Lake and Michelle, married dentist and assistant from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Blah traditional Southern blah drawl blah very competitive yap yap yap drawl. (Translation: they are dull and talk funny.) Lake tells us he is short on compassion. I have a feeling Lake's short on a lot of things. (Translation: Lake seems like a dick.) I have no nickname for this team yet, but I bet when I come up with one, it won't be very nice.
Danielle and Danni, childhood friends from Staten Island. Quite possibly the most annoying people ever, they have frosted hair and giggle and talk about boys and dance on a bar. However, they do assure us that they are very competitive. All I can assure you is that I will never, ever know which one is which. I christen them Team Bimbo.
B.J. and Tyler, best friends from San Francisco. Awesome freaky hippie dudes. I immediately love them and therefore vow not to get attached, since the fact that I don't loathe them on sight surely dooms them. Ah, well, at least maybe they'll get kicked off early enough not to miss the start of Ren Faire season. They are the Hippie Boys.
Ray and Yolanda, dating lawyer and teacher from Chicago. They also don't seem all that annoying. Plus, they are in terrific shape. Yolanda, in particular, has the most awesome thighs I've ever seen. Actually, they seem like perfectly reasonable people. I shall call them Team Perfectly Reasonable.
John and Scott, lifelong friends from New England. Scott tells us loves John
"like a brother, and nothing more than that." This is perhaps to offset the fact that it's clear that at least one of them is, as Margaret Cho's mother would say, the gay. I don't care if they're a couple or just friends, but since John is doing the show to get over his fears of, well, everything, including flying, I don't think things are boding that well for them. Go with God, Undercover Gays.
Joseph and Monica, dating, from Fayetteville, Arkansas. Monica tells us that she and Joseph have
"an interesting relationship," and then embarks on an explanation that shows us that she really just has no idea what the word
"interesting" means. But my guess is that they're gonna fight. A lot. I already know that I am going to dislike them intensely, and therefore name them the Stupids.
Eric and Jeremy, friends. Bartender and valet from Florida. They are the
"cute boys" for the season. Expect to see some nauseating interaction with Danielle and Danni. One of them has both nipples pierced. (Either Eric or Jeremy, that is. I have no idea about the state of Danielle or Danni's nipples. Though I have a sinking feeling I may well hear about it before the season is through.) Eric and Jeremy tell us they would like to be millionaires, but they would not like to work for it. Well, pick me up off the floor. Since I've already given out
"The Stupids," they're going to have to wait for a name.
Lisa and Jodi,
six-foot-tall 40-something sisters from Houston, who call themselves "Glamazons." They enjoy tiaras, Bedazzlers, and Indian leg-wrestling. Hmm. For some reason, I kind of like them. I think I'll
let them keep "Glamazon."
Fran and Barry, married 40 years, from Littleton, Colorado. Aka this season's Old Couple. They're tough, though. They ski and hike and crap. I'm pretty sure they could pound the shit out of either John or Scott, or possibly both. Still, they're the Old Couple.
Wanda and Desiree, from Atlanta. Hot Latina Mom and her daughter, Hot Latina Natalie Portman. They tell us that they are not to be underestimated. Okay, fine. (I'm getting pretty tired of summing up people, already.) Because they are so eager to emphasize their Hot Latina mom and daughter-ness, I have named them the Spicy Gilmores.
Dave and Lori, dating three years from Manhattan, Kansas. Self-proclaimed nerds, and boy, do I ever believe them. Like every other fucking team, they tell us how goddamned competitive they are – only Dave then goes on to give examples:
"She's really great at card games. I'm really great at taking tests." Hee-hee. After the Hippie Boys, these two are my favorites. (With the Glamazons still oddly claiming a small place in my heart.) They, of course, are the Geek Squad.
Whew. That's done. Everybody gets to the big amphitheatre thing which is the start point of the race. (Phil did give the name, but that was about seven hours ago, and I'm tired of rewinding.) Phil blathers on about the rules that everyone knows, and I tune out for a bit. But I do love the way he pronounces
And they're off! And there it is – exactly ten minutes in, we have our first,
"Come on, baby!" The Amazing Race has truly begun at last. And they're on their way to … Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Monica and a bunch of other people actually call it
"San Paulo," and I was all ready to call them idiots, but it turns out "San Paulo" is actually a perfectly accepted exonym, like calling Italy
"Italy," rather than "Italia." So I learned an interesting geographic fact and a new word today. Hmm.) Once there, teams must find a unique hotel and retrieve their next clue on the hotel's rooftop. They can only travel on one of three different flights, and seats are limited. Joseph gives us a brand new
"Come on, baby" less than one minute after the first, and Lake lets loose another one about a second after that, and here's where I decide to stop counting.
Hooray! The Hippie Boys are in the lead! This prompts some snarking from second-place Stupid Monica about how the hippies must not have smoked pot recently. Hey, at least the hippies don't call each other
"baby." Stupid. The last-place Glamazons tell us that "slow and steady wins the race." Um, an endurance race, maybe. The kind of race where you have to be at a specific place at a specific time, well, not so much.
Wow. That is a powerful lot of footage of people driving and flappin' their yaps. We do learn that Perfectly Reasonable Ray and Yolanda have been dating for five years, all long distance. This race will be the longest time they've spent together – ever. Well, that seems like a great idea. I see no reason why that shouldn't work out really well for them. Then, right after Ray reads aloud from the clue that the teams may not call ahead to reserve plane tickets, Lake suggests to Michelle that they pull over and do just that. Egggs-cellent.
Meanwhile, having passed into first place, the Stupids arrive at the airport with the Hippie Boys hot on their tail. Stupid Monica glances back and says – I shit you not –
"Those buttheads are following us." That Monica. She's something. Something I'd like to drown in a vat of bleach, that is.
Blah blah blah BLAH.
Lake and Michelle successfully book seats on the first flight over the phone, as the other teams trickle into the airport and run around and shout and say
"baby." The Undercover Gays and the Glamazons bond on the airport shuttle. Aw, cute.
Lake and Michelle realize they fucked up, prompting Lake to actually say, "Dadgummit." Then he says,
"I'm sorry. That was at least partially my fault, sort of." What a dick. That's it. They're Team What a Dick.
Then everyone runs around the airport for a while and talks some more. Meanwhile, as flights start to fill up, Lake admonishes Michelle for not running faster, saying,
"That Black girl outrun you." I assume he means Yolanda (and her thighs of steel). I am surprised, however, that Michelle, does not defend herself with,
"Baby, I can't help it. You know them Black folk run fast." I myself am not 100% sure that Yolanda isn't actually at least partly Latina, but I guess they're fast, too.
Okey dokey, here's the flight breakdown. American Flight 1: Team Bimbo, the Hippie Boys, and the Old Couple. Continental Flight Leaves-Second-But-Arrives-Third: the Stupids, the Glamazons, and the Perfectly Reasonables. And on United Flight Leaves-Third-But-Arrives-Second: Eric & Jeremy (whom I'd completely forgotten about until this moment), the Spicy Gilmores, the Geek Squad, and the Undercover Gays.
Oh, whoops. Turns out that once in Sao Paulo, the teams have to go to the Hotel Unique, not a unique hotel. That makes a lot more sense, but I think it would have been more fun the other way. Anyway, as Phil explains, delays in connecting flights have changed the arrival times, and so the United flight is the first to arrive and spit out the Spicy Gilmores, the Undercover Gays, the Geek Squad, and the Forgettable Cute-ish Guys. The Forgettable Cute-ish Guys are starting to be less forgettable and more just plain unlikable, as they have already referred to the Spicy Gilmores as
"bitches" and the Bimbos as "hos." (Yeah, I know I just called them Bimbos. But still.)
The American flight gets in, followed shortly by the Continental flight. Everybody rides around Sao Paulo, speaking to their taxi drivers in various combinations of broken English, Spanish and even a little Portuguese, the actual frickin' language spoken there. (To be fair, one of the Glamazons apparently thought Spanish was Portuguese, or thought everybody everywhere spoke Spanish, or some shit like that. Also to be fair, the other Glamazon made it pretty clear she thought her sister was a fucking moron for thinking that.)
The Spicy Gilmores are first to the clue! Teams must now travel through the busy streets of Sao Paulo to historic bridge Viaduto Santa Efigenia.
An aside: I wonder if at least one person in every team didn't say
"let's go" every single time they had to go someplace, if they would all just stand around staring at each other and never go anywhere.
Another aside: I have re-named the Forgettable Cute-ish Guys Team Irritating-As-All-Fuck. Because they are.
DETOUR! Motor Head or Rotor Head. Teams must either assemble a motorcycle or do something involving flying in a helicopter (the explanation of which would be long and boring). The pros and cons: the helicopter thing could take a long time, but most of our contestants don't know nothin'
'bout no motorcycles. A bunch of teams choose Rotor Head, get lost on the way to the helicopters, fly around for a while, run around for awhile, and just generally provide next-to-no entertainment value. A bunch of teams choose Motor Head and, though we don't see it yet, rest assured they will suck. Most of the teams spend a good portion of the time sniping at each other.
A few details: the Old Couple misses the clue on the bridge the first twelve times they walk by it, Team Bimbo gets halfway to impressing me by choosing to assemble the motorcycle – well, until I realize that they only picked it because they thought random Brazilian men would help their hot asses, and the Undercover Gays get stuck in horrible traffic and end up deciding to get out and walk, whereupon not a single Brazilian will help them find the bridge. Along the way they bitch and moan at each other in a manner that is just like all lifelong friends and not in any way like a couple.
Oh, the Glamazons are also stuck somewhere.
Team Irritating-As-All-Fuck, via
'copter, is the first to get the next clue, which directs the teams to go to Santa Cecilia, find a warehouse, witness a traditional religious ceremony and light a candle. There's (slightly) more to it than that, but damn, this summary is getting long. The Hippie Boys (whom I got over ages ago and now don't really like all that much) are second. The Geeks, who have also started to bore me, are third, and my new favorites, the Spicy Gilmores, are fourth.
Meanwhile, back at the chop shop, Dick Lake has no trouble putting together his motorcycle. Everybody else, however, is fairly well up shit creek one way or another. The Bimbos give up on their motorcycle and head for the
'copters, the Old Couple struggles (despite the advice kindly barked at them from Dick Lake) and eventually does the same (while yammering extensively in despair). The Perfectly Reasonables do a perfectly reasonable job with their cycle, but are hindered by the large crowd of Brazilian men who have gathered around to hoot and holler at Yolanda's ass. Meanwhile, the Undercover Gays and the Glamazons wander the streets until somebody finally gives each of them directions to the damn bridge. Hey, remember the bridge?
So now there are four teams trailing, running around the helicopter area and generally having a conniption – the Bimbos, the Old Couple, the Glamazons, and the Undercover Gays. The Glamazons scream a lot and one of them pees her pants. (Sorry. It is what it is. Silk purse, sow's ear, you know.)
The leading four teams make it to the ceremony, shake some ceremonial booty, and earn their clue, and thank the sweet Lord, we're almost to the pit stop! Teams must now schlep back through the crappy Sao Paulo traffic to the Estadio Municipal de Pacaembu, a stadium with a random Brazilian guy in it playing soccer by himself. The last team to arrive will be Philiminated.
More of everybody running (and flying) around, and not much else happens, except that I notice that the girls of
"Team Bimbo" have "Live Pink" on the asses of their matching pink track pants. Oh, also, I don't like the Glamazons anymore. They're the Lameazons now.
If Stupid Monica keeps jumping up and down and shouting "Whoo!" I'm going to have to track her down and hit her with a big mallet.
It's a race to the finish! Fucking finally! And Team Irritating-As-All-Fuck is first, with a merry welcome from the random soccer guy. They win $10,000 apiece, and say some stupid shit. The Hippie Boys are second, and pretty damned excited about it. The Spicy Gilmores just beat the Geek Squad, and then I think about nine hours probably pass while the rest of the asshats get their shit together. I guess Phil just has to hang out with the random soccer guy and wait for them. Maybe they split a sandwich while they're waiting. That'd be nice. Anyway, eventually, the order is as follows: Team What A Dick, the Stupids
(Stupid Monica jumps up and down and says "Whoo"), the Perfectly Reasonables, the Old Couple, Team Bimbo … and … suspense, suspense … The Lameazons have it! Go home, Undercover Gays! Brazil doesn't want you, and really, neither do I. But damn, that is one pitying look Phil gives them. He must have had a soft spot for them. Then again, he hasn't had to listen to John whine for two hours like we have. Lucky fucker.
Coming up on
"The Amazing Race:" The Bimbos and Irritating-As-All-Fucks court venereal disease and each other, somebody's afraid of heights, and the Old Couple has trouble. In other words, nothing much that hasn't happened in every other season. Oh, well.
Archive > Television > Amazing Race > Season 9