Dennis & Erika

Well, after months of eager anticipation, The Amazing Race 5 started today with 11 teams racing around the world. One thing that I failed to mention earlier is what’s up with 11 teams? The race normally starts off with twelve. This could be due to the fact that one team mysteriously dropped off right before air time or perhaps there is another twist in the game. My guess is that one of the eliminated teams will be able to rejoin the race at a later time–a second chance survivor style challenge to get back in the race? We’ll see.

This race started on the Santa Monica Pier with teams racing to Uruguay. Just as I predicted, it was a sprint off the pier. And just as I predicted, the team with the midget was fucked! Short legs don’t win sprints people. In the ensuing mayhem of the sprint several people fell, with one player, Jim, cutting his knee up pretty badly. He’d have to get stitches and a bandage at Centinela Hospital in Inglewood before being allowed on the flight.

At the airport, drama ocurred when Dennis & Erika held up the ticket purchasing line for the slower American Airlines flight. Teams were pissed that Dennis & Erika stalled for nearly 20 minutes trying to buy tickets for other team members that probably wouldn’t do the same for them, it would be an omen for things to come later in the race.

After traveling almost 7,000 to Uruguay, the teams went to a beach and then onto an island. One team, Brandon & Nicole, decided to walk to the ferry to the island. Actually, Brandon decided to walk to “save money.” Now, every Amazing Race fan knows that you ALWAYS take a taxi whenever possible and you NEVER try and save money for a later time during the race. Rookie mistake, it cost them valuable time.

On the island, the teams had to search the woods for tickets to a ferry out the following morning with three separate departure times–8:00, 8:30, and 9:00. The teams would spend the night on the island awaiting their respective ferries. Sleeping in tents after some long ass flights to Uruguay was a little mean, but most sucked it up. Only one team, Marshall & Lance, complained.

After getting off the island, the teams had to make their way to the town of Maldonado to go to a meat warehouse. There, they had to hand carry a 55-pound slab of meat half a mile to a butcher shop. This was where the midget team shined. The midge took the slab onto her shoulder after her cousin just couldn’t carry it anymore. It looked pretty crazy, since the slab of meat was pretty big and all, and the midge is relatively small. The moral of this story, don’t underestimate the little people folks!

At the end of the meat challenge, teams were bunched up in a bottleneck waiting for cabs back to a hotel Punta de Este. This is where the genius, Dennis, decides to take the last cab as a “good faith gesture.” This guy needs to learn from Kenny Rogers, “you gotta know when to hold ’em, you gotta know when to fold ’em.” This guy felt guilty for holding up the line at the airport, that was the time to fold ’em. Here, he should have taken the first available cab–hold ’em. Dumbass.

At the next marker, there was a Detour–Zips or Chips. Zips was repelling down a zip line from the top of the hotel, and chips was getting your number on the roulette table using only 5 chips. Typically, the physical challenge is faster. This time most teams that went to the roulette picked their numbers on one or two hands.

As it always happens in the race, two teams failed to follow the directions on their clue and failed to go to the marker across the street from the hotel to pick their Detour. Instead, they saw the flag on the hotel for the Chips challenge and continued. The two bonehead teams were, Kami & Karli and Chip & Kim.

Kami & Karli had already pissed me off when they got off the island because they walked right past the route marker with the clue to go to Maldonado a few times. These girls claimed to be manipulators at the beginning of the show, not! They are athletic, but not too fucking bright if you ask me. Chip & Kim are okay, but how can you trust a black guy named Chip? It’s like Carleton or Bif or something, too creepy.

But I digress, even though Chip & Kim and Kami & Karli got to the Pit Stop first and second respectively. Phil sent thir dumb asses back to the missed marker to retrieve the clue before they could check in to the Pit Stop. Cold. Both teams went back and retrieved the clue from the marker and finished eighth and ninth respectively. Who was eliminated? Dennis & Erika. They just couldn’t get it together. Dennis didn’t know when to be nice and when to be a dick to the other teams, and in this race that skill is crucial.

Teams I already hate: Kami & Karli, Brandon & Nicole, Dennis & Erika
Teams I like: Alison & Donny, Bob & Joyce
Team I pick to win: Alison & Donny (if they don’t kill each other first)

All in all a good start for the race. There was good character development due to the longer length of the show, 90 minutes versus the usual 60 minutes. Good new route marker, the Yield. It will be interesting to see how players use this route marker in other legs of the race. Stay tuned.

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