Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Episode 2 - Ecuador to Chile

During the pit stop Drew experienced altitude sickness, which would seem to impede him for the rest of the race. The teams take off 12 hours later in the order in which they checked in. Rob comments on how he wants people to be preoccupied with him and Amber, because they'll just end up being distracted from the goal.

When the clue is ripped open it instructs teams to drive to the airport and catch a flight to Santiago, Chile. The drive TO the airport proves to be a rather tricky one, with uneven ground and giant mud puddles. Kentucky (Dave & Mary) even stop at one point to tow Charla & Mirna's car out of the muck. Sheesh, aren't they nice.

Once at the airport there are a couple flights to choose from. One will go through Guayaquil and Lima, Peru and arrive at 1:05am and the other will take a different connection to Lima, then arrive in Santiago at 2:30am. The ONLY teams on the 1:05 flight (and who even knew about it) are Rob & Amber, and Oswald & Danny. Unfortunately for them, their first connection is delayed so their big head start is nullified when they arrive at the second connection and even up with everyone else.

I just realized when they were getting on the plane that David is wearing a Cho brothers shirt. Too cute.

Once all the teams' planes touch down they must take a taxi to the head office of a mining company, where they come across a Road Block. One member (who has great detail) must walk around a boardroom and spot letters placed on various items e.g. the tie of an executive, a note pad, a pen, etc. What teams didn't know was that on the wall of the boardroom there were pictures of mines, with their names underneath. So instead of just making note of a the letters and unscrambling them, team members could actually observe the writing on the wall.

The first team to clue into this was the Beauty Queens. They passed all those that were there trying to decipher the letters long before them. Eric (frat boy) and Joyce took a very long time, while teams came, clued in and left ahead of them. Once again Mary helps out Charla and Mirna - telling them exactly what the word is and pointing at the photo on the wall. Kevin eavesdrops and follows. Eric saw the mine name on the wall and had ALL the letters except an "H". He ruled it out because he couldn't find an "H" around the table. I mean in that case, wouldn't you just go for it anyway? About 6 teams passed him in the meantime.

They then had to hop on a plane and fly to the next destination, where the mine (with the name they deciphered) was located. At the airport, Eric skips ahead of the line when a new counter opens up. Rob vocalizes his discontent and Amber defends Eric saying, it's just something Rob would do anyway, as well.

Once they land, teams drive to the mine where there was a DETOUR: By hand or by Machine.

By hand: align bolts on a gigantic 2 tonne mining truck tire and tighten them all up. By Machine: drive a front loader and dump rock/dirt up to a certain height. Both team members must take turns.

The only teams that did "by machine" were Joe & Bill and Rob & Amber - they were all done very quickly as "by hand" proved to be a lot more painstaking and tedious.

Once complete, teams had to drive to the pit stop. During a certain portion through a sensitive ecosystem, they could only drive max 40km/h but after that, they could go the regular speed limit. Teams raced on the road, got turned around and Drew & Kevin thought it was 40km/h EVERYWHERE. Kentucky got annoyed with their "friends" Charla & Mirna because they kept passing them on the road. Mary's blood gets boiling.

Charla and Mirna pay a taxi driver to lead them where they need to go. The Beauty Queens pull up behind them and wanted info from the driver as well. Essentially, BQs were saying - why do you need to pay him all your money? Just have him draw us all a map. But Charla and Mirna were hellbent on sending the BQs away with no information and disgusted at the fact that they would want to share the driver THEY were giving ALL their money too. This is where is gets a little weird. The BQs give up and just take off meanwhile Charla and Mirna are freaking out at the cab driver saying "TAKE ALL MY MONEY!" and literally begging him to continue to help them. Seriously, it made me uncomfortable to watch this. They get in their car and rant about the nerve of the Beauty Queens. Uh huh... yeah....

At the mat in the Valley of the Dead, Chile, Rob & Amber cross first. Oswald & Danny come in 2nd with Joe and Bill following up in 3rd.

4th, Eric & Danielle, 5th Uchenna and Joyce, 6th the Beauty Queens and 7th, Terri and Ian.

8th, Charla and Mirna with Kentucky close behind. Mary is seriously pissed off, which is odd to see since she's such a sweetheart. She holds her tongue and doesn't say what's pissing her off but later in the interview she says basically, no more being nice and helping people out.

The final team to arrive is Kevin & Drew, who get eliminated.

(Photos are property of CBS)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Episode 1 - LIVE BLOG *Spoiler*

*** SPOILER ***

The start of the show was time-delayed about 15 minutes so we unfortunately caught the tail end of 60 Minutes. What was Anderson Cooper doing on there?

The racers have been introduced and take off from Miami, Florida. I had no idea one of the teams consists of one of the guys from the Frat Boy team last season and one of the girls from the Pinkies that same season.

Team List: Oswald & Danny, Kevin & Drew, John Vito & Jill, Uchenna & Joyce, David & Mary, Charla & Mirna, Rob & Amber, Teri & Ian, Eric & Danielle, Joe & Bill, Dustin & Kandice

Uchenna and Joyce won their season. If you think back, when they won the million they said they were going to use it to get pregnant, in vitro. Since that hasn't happened they're doing this to rekindle their passion for each other that's waned over the last few stressful years. Rob and Amber (Mr. and Mrs. reality show) are back with a vengeance after coming in 2nd during their season. I have totally missed Oswald and Danny - they are SO fun.

The rest of the intros were pretty basic, and the nicknames for the teams are coming out already. Kentucky, the Barbies aka the Beauty Queens, Mirna & Shmirna, and the Frat boy n' Pinkie. Teams race to grab their first clue, hop into an SUV and head for the airport where they will fly to Ecuador.

When teams get to the airport they realize there are TWO flights to Ecuador. This is something we lacked last season - teams always evened up at the airport, no one was left behind and everyone was always on the same plane. Of course this lead to a lack of excitement and urgency.

(commercial break)

There's a first flight and second - while teams wait and browse the airport bookstore for an atlas Kentucky introduces themselves to Rob and Amber. David gets all tongue-tied because he's a big fan of theirs. Come to think of it, they've been reality TV "stars" for several years so I suppose their level of celebrity is pretty high. But as other teams point out they've "had enough of Rob and Amber" in this way.

On the American Airlines flight that arrived first there is: John Vito & Jill, Rob & Amber, Oswals a& Danny, Charla & Mirna, Terry & Ian. The others all on another flight arrive 2 hours later. I forgot how Charla and Mirna know about 8 languages between the two of them.

The teams on the first flight land and race to their first clue in Ecuador. They need to proceed to a restaurant where they pick up one of 3 departure times for the morning: 7, 715, and 730am.

While the first teams to the clue are sitting down to dinner, those on the second flight race to the clue box to grab a departure time. This early in the game teams are getting frustrated with their cab drivers and as we cut to commercial, Drew falls down in the street, reeling in pain.

(commercial break)

Kevin and Drew hop into a cab, while Drew is still feeling pain in his shoulder from a fall and bandaging up a bloody knee.

Eric and Danielle are the last to arrive and to grab a departure time, Mr Frat boy notes that he isn't comfortable being in last place.

In the morning teams (in proper departure sequence) must drive their cars 65 miles to an ecological reserve to find their next clue. They are advised to enter from the NORTH entrance to the park.

Two teams talk to taxi drivers and persuade them to drive ahead to the park while they follow (Oswald & Danny and Rob & Amber).

Mirna and Charla pick up a man who accompanies them in the car, giving driving directions.

John Vito and Jill are giving instructions from a local saying it will take them an hour to get to the park. Meanwhile, Rob & Amber and Oswald & Danny find the park entrance. Charla and Mirna enter at the South entrance and debate turning back to head in North.

Wrangle it or Recover it

In wrangle it, teams must help local cowboys lasso a horse and clip its hair and hooves.

In recover it, teams must wear a soliders' uniform and search a field for missing items: an epaulette, sword and button.

Rob and Amber choose recover it, get frustrated "it'll take 3 hours to walk around this field" and decide to run over to the other detour option - before any other teams are even there - they have a little time to play with.

Oswald & Danny choose wrangle it right away and joke about pursuing careers in beauty. Practicing cutting a horse's nails and hair is a far cry.

Teri & Ian arrive third and think they're in first since they see no one else. Meanwhile Rob & Amber cross the mat first. They of course win a trip for two from Travelocity. Oddly enough - it's to Whistler, BC!

Oswald & Danny finish 2nd.

"If you ain't got me holdin your hands you can't do nothin!" David and Mary aren't too far behind but they think they're almost out of it as they run into trouble with directions. Little do they know several teams are still far behind - getting directed all over the map.

(commercial break)

Teri & Ian finish doing 'wrangle it' and head to the pit stop 3rd. Eric and Danielle catch up and finish 4th. Joe and Bill complete 'wrangle it' as well and finish 5th commenting that the horse's nails were much easier to clip than their puppy's. 6th place is the Beauty Queens followed by Uchenna & Joyce in 7th.

John Vito and Jill end up at the South entrance. David & Mary run into David & Mary - both teams think they're lost but they're actually on the right track. Kevin and Drew blow a tire and keep going - riding on the axle.

Charla and Mirna come in 8th while David and Mary race through their task (all teams chose wrangle it) and finish 9th. They have a bonding moment with the other team talking about how they've admired all the all stars and now they're getting their butts kicked by them. Kevin and Drew come in 10th while John Vito and Jill finally make it to the end. The formerly dating couple that just got too mixed around with their directions to the park.

The first episode was pretty good - the teams all look pretty interesting. It should be fun to watch it all pan out. I'm waiting to hear Laura's thoughts on the matter, especially the return of the Beauty Queens :-P

It All Starts Tonight

Season 11 kicks off tonight at 8:00pm on CBS. Check back here for a full recap after the show!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Re-Run The Races

If you're like Laura then the last season was not your favourite, so I have some great news for you. CBS is releasing all previous 10 seasons of The Amazing Race on DVD this March.
Coming in March: Catch up with your favourite teams as you re-run 10 seasons of THE AMAZING RACE as seen on CBS. Looks for specially marked packages of ThermaCare Heatwraps that include the free Amazing Race mini-DVD. [CBS]
No special features, just the plain ol' TV versions but hey, if you have a sore back and want to sit around watching re-runs of your favourite TV show, this deal works out perfectly for you.

The Amazing Hunt

Next Saturday, Feb. 10, my sister and I will be participating in The Amazing Hunt. It's Vancouver's own adventure race complete with Detours, Yields, Intersection and various other twists and turns [Miss604].

This one is a foot race downtown but several local races take place throughout the year in other cities in the Vancouver area. If you live in the area sign on up - the winners from each local race participate in the "Championship" to win cash prizes. The official website has YouTube videos and more detailed information for any Amazing Race wannabe that wants to take part in this event throughout the year.